Former Premier League footballer Clarke Carlisle: Employers must make it OK to talk about mental health at work

Oliver Gill
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Burnley v Portsmouth - Premier League
Clarke Carlisle played for Burnley between 2007 and 2012 (Source: Getty)

Former Premier League footballer Clarke Carlisle has urged employers to create an environment where it is OK to talk about mental health in the workplace.

Carlisle, a former chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association and TV pundit, hit the headlines in December 2014 when he attempted suicide after suffering from depression.

He has subsequently become a leading champion for mental health wellbeing, while being open about the treatment he undergoes to battle the illness.

Read more: Once again, the City leads on mental health

“There are intense pressures working in the City,” Carlisle told City A.M., adding all workers are susceptible to “very specific strains and stresses”.

The 37-year-old former Watford and Burnley defender said: “Because mental issues might be perceived as some kind of weakness, or might be construed as some kind of inability to do the job, people in the workplace are afraid it might hinder their opportunity to progress or cost them their jobs completely.

We really need to create an environment that is evidenced in a firm from a top down that it is OK to talk about any mental health issues that you might be enduring.

The comments come as City firms rally behind efforts to change attitudes towards mental health in the workplace. Thousands of staff in City are expected to wear green ribbons in support of a campaign led by the City’s Lord Mayor.

Research by insurance giant Legal & General indicates only four per cent of employees who have experienced depression feel able to talk to their manager or superior about it.

Read more: The City ramps up drive to shift attitudes on mental health at work

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