After sustaining a major back injury that forced me into retirement, whereby I lost everything, my career, my job and then losing my house I suffered with depression for a number of years.
The struggles I went through had me contemplating taking my own life, with me nearly doing so. Now I don’t know what stopped me, but after a long period of recovery with medication, counselling and exercise I realised that I was still here for a reason, so I then decided I was going to put all my energies into trying to educate people around their mental health. Now I have been doing this for over 12 years and I know for a fact that the work I do is saving lives. This by way of delivering mental health awareness sessions all over the country and also educating people into becoming mental health first aiders.
With the club really putting a lot of energy into educating and preventing mental health issues , it really does align with my thoughts in and around mental health. They say that most adult mental health issues start before the age of 14, so with the club investing in this it will prevent problems later in life. This is a real belief for me and one that I am working tirelessly to attain.
Myself and Phil Veivers delivered a MHFA England course to coaches, team managers and volunteers, who, gave up their time for free so that they learnt the tools to be able to assist with children that maybe struggling within the club with their mental health issues. Mental health awareness sessions were also delivered to a variety of people from within the club to educate them on looking out for signs and symptoms of people within the club. Teaching positive coping strategies and also educating them on what are poor coping strategies , obviously the ones to stay away from.
My strapline is and always will be with children, ‘prevention is better than cure’, so the education with people can only assist the club and making it a better place for children to play their sport. My belief is also that issues they have off the field will eventually follow them onto the field.
I am so glad that I am involved with a club that really does call itself a family and wants to look out for not just the children but also the parents and volunteers to ensure a safe environment.