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Christian Pulisic on the importance of mental health

One’s mental health is important to manage

Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Alex Caparros - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Chelsea are set to face Arsenal and Tottenham in a set of preseason friendlies, which will also support the Mind charity. The Mind is an English charity organization aiming to provide advice and support to anyone experiencing mental health problems.

The past year plus has truly been taxing with all the issues stemming from the pandemic. Health is paramount. And while that includes safety from an evolving coronavirus strain, it also includes one’s mental health.

Demand for Mind’s services, including its Infoline, has increased exponentially during the pandemic, with latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics showing one in five adults experiencing symptoms of depression, compared to one in 10 prior to the pandemic. Mind’s own survey of 16,000 people during the initial lockdown also found that two in three young people (68 percent) and three in five adults (60 percent) said their mental health got worse.

- Source: Mind

Footballers are prone to mental health struggles, just like us. They are human after all.

Speaking ahead of the two friendlies against Chelsea’s London rivals, Christian Pulisic spoke openly about seeking out support for his mental health.

“Your mental health is so important. It’s about being content with who you are as a person and for me it’s about getting away from the game and finding the right balance. I’m always having to fight with everything that’s going on with football, but also stepping away to make sure my mind is in a good place and I’m really just happy”

“This has been a tough time for a lot of people, myself included. The most important thing is to have a good support system and people around that I can always rely on and have a chat to. I live on my own and it can be tough being alone at times so having someone always there to talk to is extremely important for me. It’s what has carried me through this time.”

For those who follow Pulisic on social media, he showcases his family quite often. Having left Hershey, Pennsylvania six years ago, he has had to grow up rather quickly on the personal front in a new country (Germany) and away from most of his support system.

With that said, the past year will take a toll on anyone, having to experience lockdowns when you live on your own.

“When it’s all on you, it can really feel like a lot. Even during this time, I reached out to a therapist and that’s not something that anyone should ever be ashamed of. It’s something that can help, just talking about the way that you’re feeling.”

“It’s something that I’ve done personally and I’ve seen other people do as well. Getting it off your chest, speaking about it, is something that can go a long way.”

It is refreshing to see mental health talked about so much more openly by today’s standards. On a slight tangent, we live in an era where social media and the anonymity often creates a cesspool of negativity. The access to scrutiny is merely a phone notification away.

Hearing Pulisic speak with conviction about the positiveness he has felt opening himself to support through a therapist is hopefully inspiring to others. It is okay seek help. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of by the mere notion of seeking counsel and finding someone who will listen to one’s troubles.

As this blog casts a very wide net on readership, if anyone is looking for resources and guidance on mental health, please feel free to get started browsing this link from Johns Hopkins University.