GAA President Liam O'Neill has said that a "big boys don't cry" attitude that pervades much of the organisation at grassroots and senior level is storing up a raft of mental health problems for the future.
Mr O'Neill said players have been conditioned from an early age "not to show their emotions" and warned over-zealous coaches not to keep shouting at young players over their performance.
He wants the GAA to act as an "agent for change" as part of a new effort to stem the tide of male suicide
"There is no point in coaches shouting at a player because a mistake has been made," he said. "We have to build up boys' self-esteem if we are to change what they become as adults."
Mr O'Neill was speaking alongside Health Minister Leo Varadkar at the launch of a programme to boost the well-being of players.