Liverpool FC are the first Premier League club to appoint a mental health therapist to deal with an increase in online abuse faced by young players. Psychiatric therapist Ishbel Straker has been working with the club as an external consultant, primarily working with the Academy’s under-23s and under-18s squads.
The Daily Mail (ew) reports that Straker has been appointed to “hold one-on-one clinics with upcoming stars, helping them to cope with racist abuse, sudden fame and addiction issues.”
The source in that Mail report adds:
“Liverpool care hugely about the mental health of their players but over the last year some of the abuse experienced by the first team has been horrendous.”
“The club is very keen to make sure the young players who are coming through, or just breaking into the first team, are prepared for what can come their way online.”
“Trolling for some footballers has been as bad as it ever has been in the last 12 months and most young players are locked into social media.”
Players who have come in for abuse online over the past year include Neco Williams, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane. The abuse will probably not stop, so it’s a good thing that the club is choosing to be on top of this issue and preparing our young stars for it.