Administrators are arriving at a better understanding of the extent of anxiety and depression among top sportspeople and a finger is pointing at social media

On Friday night the NBA’s commissioner, Adam Silver, made a statement that was both shocking and profound: many of the league’s players, who have an average salary of $7m a year, were “truly unhappy”. He told the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference: “The outside world sees the fame, the money, all the trappings that go with it, and they say: ‘How is it possible they even can be complaining?’ But a lot of these young men are genuinely unhappy.”

As he warmed to the theme of his players’ mental health, Silver told his audience that the NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas once told him that “championships are won on the bus” with the players having greater camaraderie – and fewer headphones – but times have changed. Indeed one superstar had recently told Silver that from getting off a plane to a game to showing up in the arena he sometimes did not see a single person.

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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26 March 2019