In the article, Soccer as Therapy for Mental Illness they talk about how sports in Italy is being used to help be a therapy or aid for many patients with mental illness such as post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, depression and many more. Psychiatrists have found playing a complex game such as soccer helps them concentrate, build confidence and overall socialize with more people.
“The most important aspect of this program is that we also make sure the patients have information about their illness, that they are aware of their own limitations and fully understand the parameters of their illness, when possible.”
In my opinion, I think that this therapy program is a great way to keep these people active and help stabilize their everyday life. Most of these people in the country facing an illness are already used to playing soccer because it is a well-known popular sport. Since they already know how to play, being able to be on a field with a group of people helps them get away from reality and think about what is going on inside them and use it as a tool to have fun and play the game. In order to win a game you must communicate with your teammates to get a goal. I think this helps the players talk with one another to figure out a plan, creating them to make new friends. The goal would not only be to win but to get out of a depression and face the illness they are having.
As results have shown, many of the people facing a mental issue while playing soccer have lowered their use on medications and some are back to having a job and living in a regular life. I think that the therapist in charge should keep them on a regular day basis to play the sport, to the point that it becomes an everyday commitment. This will help them keep their mind off of their illness and socialize with people. Not only does playing soccer stop the usage of medication because it keeps them busy and they don't think about what is going on. They will want to keep playing the game instead. It also increases the health status because they are staying active. I believe many of the patients relate to average athletes when on the pitch because they forget what’s going on in their head and focus on what's happening in the game. As the same goes for me, I usually block out my mind from distracting me and listen to my teammates on what is going on in the game. Soccer is a sport that helps people get away from what is bothering them and try to be their best at something.
I believe the most amazing part of this therapy is that doesn't only have to be used in Italy, people in America could use it but play basketball or football instead. I think the idea of getting these people out of a room of depression or a house they can’t leave and giving them something to look forward too every day is an amazing program to benefit the mental health program. I also look at this method to be used in any person at any age that face any problem in life, including being shy, not talkative, or even somebody who just needs a friend. I think if a group of people who were healthy and stable contribute to the games, that these people would feel the love and be able to fit into a place they thought they would've never found.