QPR defender Steven Caulker has been hailed by the PFA following his revealing interview with the Guardian about his struggles with mental health issues.
Speaking to the Hampshire Chronicle, the PFA's head of welfare Michael Bennett said that Caulker's bravery will hopefully encourage others to do the same.
He said: "Hearing him being open and honest about his experience which he has gone through, you are looking for those, like Steven, who are sharing their experiences to come forward and let people know what it looks like and feels like. Hopefully that will encourage other players, former or current members, to come forwards and share their own experiences as well.
"It is the stereotypical taboo and stigma which we are trying to change in the game and we are making strides with that, because two or three years ago, we would not even be having this conversation, so we have come a long way in a short space of time.
"With a physical injury, you get the treatment, get fit again and then work your way back into the first team - that should be the same with mental health.
"We need to educate our footballing environment that this is going to happen and what we need to do is make sure we have the right support in place and a better understanding to help people come forwards and then to move on with the next stage of their lives."
The PFA provides a 24/7 counselling telephone helpline and support network. All services are completely private and confidential. PFA members (or concerned friends and family) can contact: 07500 000 777 or e-mail: email@example.com