Tuesday 11 October 2022, 11:00

Dalima Chhibber stresses the importance of Mental Health

  • The Indian women’s international took part in a Q&A organised by WHO on World Mental Health Day

  • She is currently studying for a Masters in Sports Psychology with research focused on mental health in elite football players

  • FIFA will promote the #ReachOut campaign during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022

Coinciding with World Mental Health Day on Monday 11 October, a Q&A session on Facebook Live was hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Among the guests were Dr Mark van Ommeren, Head of the Mental Health Unit at WHO headquarters, Dr Iain Tulley and Dr Samya Ahmad Al Abdulla, who are working on a national strategy at the Ministry for Mental Health and Well-Being in Qatar, and Dalima Chhibber, an Indian national team player and also a mental health advocate for the #ReachOut campaign, supported by the WHO and FIFA.

Moderated by Alexandra Kuzmanovich, the guests also answered questions from members of the public.

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™ kicked off today. Throughout the tournament FIFA will highlight the #ReachOut campaign, with pitch side branding at each game dedicated to the initiative. It is vital that awareness about mental health is raised amongst this young audience, as encouraging conversations at this level could save lives.

“Mental health and well-being has never been more important to talk about. FIFA wants to support everyone who suffers from mental health problems and calls upon everyone to look after and look [out] for people around them, through the #ReachOut message,” said Dalima, who is studying for a Master’s in Sports Psychology with research focused on mental health in elite football players.

Answering one of the Facebook Live participants, Dalima also offered a recommendation, when it comes to coping with the pressures that sport can bring.

“It can place a lot of demands on athletes and on coaches to get those performances and get results. In amongst that, we fail to realise how sport is not just about winning,” she said. “It’s also about coming together, meeting new people and trying to perform to the best of your ability, where winning and losing is going to be a part of it. So simple breathing exercises are a big strategy that I use to calm myself down.”