Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson speaks out on ‘negative impact’ of social media and mental health in football

Jurgen Klopp’s captain spoke out on how players are viewed by the public and the hidden mental health struggles that go along with that.

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has spoken out on the topic of mental health in football and the struggles that players face from the media and fans.

In recent times we’ve seen open and honest discussions that have led to change in the sport, as players have been allowed to take time out of their season to prioritise their mental wellbeing, such as Jadon Sancho at Manchester United.

This new progressive and modern approach is far removed from the toxic masculinity of years gone by and a figure such as Henderson speaking out helps to spread the message further.

Speaking on the in-depth and popular High Performance podcast, the 32-year-old was honest and open about the issues of playing during the age of social media and the struggles that come with it.

“I think social media can have a negative impact on players. When maybe they’ve had a loss of form or loss of confidence and then there’s people piling in on top of that with tweets.

“People will turnaround and say ‘well just don’t go on it’ but it always finds a way back to you. Whether that’s through a friend, a teammate or the media asking you questions about it.”

Klopp also spoke out recently about how teams are only just starting to overcome the lingering effects of having a World Cup mid-season, citing that issues were not just physical, but mental too.

“There were no obvious signs, it is not that we saw numbers and thought ‘oh my God, that looks completely different’, but we all know the performance you put on the pitch is related to different things,” said Klopp. “It’s not just physical, it’s your mental health as well. That makes a massive difference.”

Due to the chaos that supporters endured at the Champions League final in Paris last season, fans have been offered use of the club’s mental health toolkit, which offers support to anyone suffering the ongoing effects of the event.

The club’s official foundation also works across three initiatives for mental health for fans and people in the community including LFC Foundation’s Military Veterans project, their exercise program called Move as well as their work with schools as they partnered up with national children’s charity Action for Children to launch a new youth mental health programme in local schools.