Former Man City boss Hughes calls for more suicide awareness

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Manchester United - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - December 1, 2018 Southampton manager Mark Hughes reacts REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

(Reuters) - Former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has called for more mental health support for younger football players, who may struggle to cope with the highs and lows of the game.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and member of the League Managers' Association (LMA), including Hughes, have launched a new partnership that aims to encourage conversations about mental health.

As part of the initiative, members of the LMA will be given a training course on how to improve "suicide awareness".

"It's important young players get the support they need," Hughes said. "A lot of clubs have provision of player welfare and departments that address that. But the resources of all clubs aren't the same.

"There are lot of emotions and disappointments, more disappointments than successes ... and it's about being able to recognise when somebody's struggling with those disappointments."

Hughes' former Wales team mate Gary Speed was found hanged in the garage of his house in Huntington, near Chester in 2011.

Police said at the time that there were no suspicious circumstances and the coroner said there was not enough evidence to say whether it was accidental or intentional.

"I've had team mates that have struggled with mental health and lost their lives to suicide," Hughes said. "We have an opportunity (as managers) to help."

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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