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Mental Health Awareness Week: Why Talking Is Critical In Breaking The Stigma

18 April 2019

Ahead of our Mind Easter Monday clash with Newport County, we take a look back at this year's Time To Talk day which was held back in February.

Sol Campbell, together with First Team players, staff members and fans united together in order to produce an evocative video which really did exemplify why it is so important for those suffering with a mental health problem to try and talk about it - despite recognising how difficult this can be.

Talking about our mental health serves two crucial purposes.

Firstly it makes us all aware that we are not alone. Even though people may believe that what they are experiencing is unique to themselves, the traits associated with illnesses such as depression and anxiety can be incredibly common.

Media Manager Bob Trafford stated -

"The brain is a highly intuitive and complex organ and in many ways, it is a biological miracle. Despite this however, sometimes it can hinder rather than help us.

"Depression and anxiety invariably muddy the waters between what is fact and what is fiction. Indeed, mental illness can make you believe that fiction is actually fact - it certainly did for me.

"With me, it started fairly innocuously, in that I would miss a few games because I didn't really feel up to it but then thoughts manifested themselves around issues such as why had nobody phoned me to see if I was ok? and well they can't have missed me that much can they?

"Fast forward a few months and these thoughts had spiralled to the extent that I was pretty much house-bound and would remain so for almost three years.

"It wasn't until I started speaking about my thoughts (both personally and professionally) that I began to recover.

"Looking back now, I will always regret the fact that not opening up essentially cost me three years of my life and would urge anyone who feels that they are struggling in any way to seek help".

Secondly, open conversation surrounding mental health de-mystifies the issue and helps to break the stigma surrounding it.

Make no mistake, the stigma which surrounds mental health is one of the most prevalent reasons that people do not reach out for the help that they both need and deserve.

To eradicate this, we need to make discussions about mental health part of the day to day narrative - just like we talk about football.

That way, nobody will feel that they have to suffer in silence and become empowered to take control of their lives by actively battling against mental health problems right at their onset.


Here is the video in full -

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