Prince Harry and Ferdinand ‘bring down taboo’ around mental health

Sad teenager boy worried inside a car

Prince Harry and Rio Ferdinand have helped ‘bring down the taboo’ around mental health problems, says PFA chief

Seeing the likes of Prince Harry and Rio Ferdinand openly discuss their experiences has helped to bring down the taboo’ around mental health problems, according to a senior figure at the PFA.

The Professional Footballers' Association revealed this week that more footballers are asking for help regarding mental health problems than ever before.

The news comes in the same week that former Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon, now of Everton, was sectioned under the mental health act after being found by a roadside in Salford on Sunday.

Lennon was taken to hospital on Sunday to be assessed and is being treated for a stress-related illness.

Michael Bennett, head of welfare at the PFA, says that the barriers surrounding a once ‘taboo’ subject are slowly coming down as more significant figures come forward.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Prince Harry revealed that it was not until his late 20s that he began processing his grief following the death of his mother.

Harry was 12 when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris.

Former England football team captain Rio Ferdinand featured in a documentary as part of the Heads Together campaign in which he opened up on the passing his wife, Rebecca, from breast cancer in 2015.

"I think it is a male mindset that it is seen as a weakness so for people like Clarke Carlisle, Rio Ferdinand - even Prince Harry - to talk about their own experience brings the taboo down and you become more comfortable being able to talk about it,” he told the Press Association.

"We are trying to change that mindset because if you were to twist an ankle or pull a hamstring - because you can physically see it - you can treat it, but because mental illness is something you can't see it is not viewed the same as something you can see."

Additional reporting by the Press Association


This article was written by Richard Parry from Evening Standard, London and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to