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Danny Rose helps reveal how inappropriate language affects mental health

Wednesday 22nd May 2019
After revealing he had depression, one club wanted to check he wasn’t “crazy” as a result. The Mental Health Foundation has condemned this.
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As part of Mental Health Awareness week, BBC One is screening a documentary entitled ‘A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health'. As part of this, the organisation spoke to footballers Danny Rose and Peter Crouch, who opened up about their own struggles with mental illness.

Rose, who was part of the England squad when they reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, revealed last summer that he suffered from depression due in part to a family tragedy, as well as struggles with injury. As a result, he said one club asked to meet him in order to check he wasn’t “crazy”.

This left Rose feeling “embarrassed”, adding: “Whatever I've been through I like to think it doesn't affect me doing my job.” In response to this, the Mental Health Foundation has strongly condemned the treatment he received, stating that inappropriate language like this contributes to the stigma surrounding mental health that prevents people from seeking out help.

Mental health problems are common, with one in six people being affected by them or by a high level of distress each week. While words like “crazy” might seem harmless, they make people afraid to seek help and foster an environment where it is okay to discriminate against others based on their mental state.

Dr Antonis Kousoulis, director of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “How we talk about mental ill health is critical. Offensive language words can trap people in a vicious cycle of thinking that they’re ‘suffering something’ that they really shouldn’t be; or worse, that this ‘something’ is defining them as lesser members of their communities.”

While conversations like this are likely to cause pressure for the football community to improve, Rose said he thought the sport still has “a long way to go” when it comes to dealing with mental health issues.

Written by Angela Newbury

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