Carlisle admission 'can have a positive effect'

Clarke Carlisle's decision to speak out about his suicide attempt could have a positive effect on professional sports people in the future, according to FIFPro's chief medical officer.

Former Professional Footballers' Association chairman Carlisle was hospitalised for six weeks after being hit by a lorry on the A64 near Bishopthorpe, York on December 22.

Carlisle, who enjoyed spells with Burnley, Leeds United and QPR during his playing career, was seriously injured in the incident, which came days after he was told he would lose his role as a TV pundit and charged for drink driving.

The 35-year-old, who has openly discussed his suffering from depression in the past, revealed in an exclusive interview with The Sun this week that he deliberately moved in front of the lorry and "wanted to die".

There have been several high-profile cases of depression in professional football, with former Germany international Robert Enke having committed suicide in 2009 by stepping in front of a train and ex-England star Paul Gascoigne battling alcoholism.

Dr Vincent Gouttebarge, a former professional footballer, recognises the tragic nature of such incidents, but believes that more awareness will be raised as a result.

"Of course, it's sad to say it but each negative or tragic event has some kind of positive effect on a third party," Dr Gouttebarge told Perform. 

"We all regret the suicide of the German goalkeeper [Enke] a few years ago, we also regret that Clarke has tried to take his own life. We regret the substance abuse of Gascoigne.

"But we have to use it in a positive way, unfortunately these kinds of examples can be a really good example to all professional footballers to make these topics [on mental health] a discussion and raise self awareness.

"Giving information to the player or to the athlete is a minimum standard we have to create. 

"We have to inform them about the risk around their job as a footballer or athlete. The individual examples are tragic, but they can definitely play a positive role in the future."