Emma Mitchell – an arsenal defender has shared her experience regarding mental health. In April, she secured the Women’s Super League title. But, at that time, the tears in her eyes were not because of joy.
Mental wellbeing needs to be valued in sports
Emma Mitchell is a Scottish footballer. In an interview with BBC sport, she has opened up about her experience regarding mental health. She said that last year was perhaps one of the most difficult years of her life.
Her team won the Women’s Super League (WSL). But, behind that, she had to face many personal problems. The time they won the league, everyone was over the moon. On the contrary, she was feeling terrible. And didn’t even wish to celebrate that occasion.
Mitchell is one of the renowned and toughest tacklers in the WSL. She has spoken about her experience regarding mental health for the first time. She told that she spared some time from football in order to get better and resumed her full training at the end of the last term.
Now, she wants others to feel comfortable enough and say “I’m not OK” if they need any help. She has also outlined her personal battle and stated why mental wellbeing needs to have the same importance as physical injury in sports.
Mitchell stated that she never realized how she felt. But one day while training, she broke down just by getting a tiny hit in the face by someone. At that time, she went to the side and felt like she wasn’t OK. For Mitchell, her training was something she loved to do.
While, at that time, she felt that it was really daunting. She didn’t want to socialize with anyone. Instead, she wished to spend her whole day in the bed. Additionally, there were some family issues that she’d never dealt with. And altogether, it got a bit too much for her.
Make a room for your feelings
Mitchell felt a constant pressure on her chest as someone was standing on top of her. And this experience made her realize that she needed help. She went to Arsenal’s manager – Joe after the training session. And told him that she needs help. The next day, she went to a psychologist. And just after starting the talk, she felt better again.
Emma Mitchell says that previously she hadn’t told her team-mates about this as she never wanted to burden anyone. But the expertise of Arsenal’s psychologists and backing of her closest friends made her realize what she had been going through.
Personally, she always used football as an escape when some stuff was going on in her life. On the contrary, at that time she wasn’t able to cope with her personal stuff even by playing football. Instead, only a niggly injury made her angry. After spending some time at home in Scotland, Mitchell started feeling better.
And was slowly brought back to full training. Moreover, after coming back, the club allowed her to do whatever she wanted until she started feeling comfortable to say “OK, I’m ready to go back in training”. In the end, Mitchell said that the biggest thing she had learned while working with her psychologist is to make room for her feelings.