Premier League star Aaron Lennon is receiving treatment for stress related illness that stunned many. Many believe that with his wealth and fame the star should have been able to handle his issues. His state of health has prompted discussion about mental health in football, with more top Premier League figures commenting.
Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino says the club is trying its best to help the player as they have reached out to his agent and family. Pochettino says the players, staff and others at White Hart Lane cares for the winger as someone who played for almost a decade.
Other active players in the league have sent goodwill messages. Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, Ledley King, Jermain Defoe and others took to Twitter to wish the player well.
The 30-year old football was detained last week under the Mental Health Act. Experts say he is a victim of paranoia, uncertainty and loneliness. The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) says mental health issues are increasingly rampant with pro footballers these days.
Many seem to agree that players do not reveal much of their issues as it could be perceived as weakness. Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said affected players would even prefer help from outside the club.
His current club have also started a fundraiser for the player and Mental Health charities, with Everton tickets listed as prizes for a prize draw amongst fans to take place next week.
Burnley boss is not comfortable that people dismiss mental health issues in football because of the huge figures involved. Sunderland’s Steven Pienaar agreed, saying: “People think footballers get paid a lot of money but they don’t know we are under a lot of pressure everyday. As a player, you need people around you who will help you and encourage you and are open to listen.”
Ray Wilkins, a Premier League veteran, said he struggled with depression after he stopped playing the game. He asked pro soccer stars to seek help when anything related to mental health issues came up.
Lennon’s case has driven traffic to the subject and more and more people are speaking about it.