Football and mental health, a world champion helps former players

Beppe Dossena illustrates the Special Team Onlus initiative

The end of his career as a footballer and the difficulties in entering the world of work, some bad investments in the past and an economic condition that is not that of a nabob, on the contrary. And then the inability to deal with mental distress experienced in silence and isolation. “We are witnessing a real ‘pandemic’ for the mental health of former footballers and for athletes in general, which affects them personally, but also their families. With Special Team Onlus, we are trying to be sentinels and go and find the colleagues, because they often lock themselves at home and do not face the psychological and mental disorders they experience. Out of modesty and shame they do not talk about their conditions, but they need to be helped. These athletes have a big problem, what we do is go and get them. We are a group of footballers who gathered around a slogan: ‘if you’re afraid of the psychologist you’re crazy'”. Thus at Adnkronos Salute Beppe Dossena, former Torino player and sports manager, who promotes the Special Team Onlus association, on the sidelines of the event in Rome at the Ministry of Health for World Mental Health Day.

“We have projects for schools and for cooperation – he explained – we also have other sports that we follow. We believe that the intergenerational relationship must be deepened, we are able to activate important synergies. We cannot make a distinction between great athletes and the general population, we must also take care of the mental health of the former because they are people like the others.”