In 2022, Shout was pleased to partner with LooseHeadz to offer anyone in rugby access to free, confidential mental health support, 24/7. LooseHeadz aims to place a mental health lead in every rugby club around the world, with 100% of profits being used to help support the wellbeing of rugby players, coaches and fans.
Here, rugby coach Adrian shares his story in order to raise awareness and encourage other men to reach out for support.
My struggles with mental health started while I was at school, and continued when my plans for university and a career within the army didn’t work out. My mental health took another hit during Covid - I suffered a seizure, which unfortunately temporarily limited my ability to drive and work. I continue to live with PTSD, trauma, anxiety and depression, and at 37, I now have regular counselling to manage how I’m feeling.
My experiences have left me wanting to raise awareness about mental health to help prevent others from suffering like I have.
Rugby became a huge part of my life after a particularly difficult time when I was 16 - I jumped straight from rehab into coaching. Since then, I’ve always worked in sport.
In my experience, a lot of people don’t realise that coaches and staff also struggle with their mental health in the same way players can - they’re under the same strain. As a coach, you always show up and look after your players, but you never really hear about how others in the team are doing.
That’s why I’ve been supporting LooseHeadz’s goal to get a mental health lead in every rugby club in the world - including by sharing my story to help tackle stigma.
Find hobbies and interests that work for you, like rugby coaching worked for me. If you’ve got Lego, go and build some Lego. If you’ve got something that can keep you occupied like a TV show or a playlist, go and focus on that. Just try to take your mind off things. There are so many different ways you can get yourself out of this mindset.
For other men who are struggling with their mental health, I’d honestly suggest just reaching out and talking to someone you trust. You don’t need to act strong all the time - just talk to someone.
In my experience, finding a safe space to open up is so important. Getting that support can help you understand where your feelings have come from, why you feel this way and how to be resilient against all of the challenges you might face. It could be speaking to a mate you trust, using a service like Shout, counselling, or going to your GP.
Talk to them and see what they can do for you. I wouldn’t feel ashamed or worried about it, because people are just here to help you. Ring the emergency services if you’re in a dangerous situation and don’t let the darkness take over. Never give up.
If you’re struggling and need support, text SHOUT to 85258.
Promoting positive mental health can make a huge difference to the wellbeing of those within communities and organisations. For more information about working with us, email [email protected].