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How does having a disability affect mental health?

22 May 2020

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Footballers from Albion’s Amputee, Powerchair and Blind teams came together for an open discussion on how having a disability can affect your mental health.

Marc Cronin, Cameron Boparai, Alex Giles, Brad Bates and Simon Hill joined up via Zoom to share their stories and experiences for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The five players all have different stories but with disabilities they all have something in common, and as a result of that can all vouch for each other's situations.

The group spoke about how their disabilities have put them in difficult places mentally, how keeping a close circle of friends is crucial, how like-minded people are the best to relate with, as well as obstacles and barriers they have had to overcome in their lives.

Leg amputee, Marc, spoke about how speaking out was the most important thing he's done.

"I couldn't have got through the things I did without talking to people," he said.

"It's alright to have the days when you're down and you don't want to anything.

"One of the biggest things, and it sounds quite threatening, is your silence isn't going to protect you," Marc explained.

"If you stay silent about your problems, nobody else can even attempt to help you," he said.

Albion Blind's Simon Hill's advice was also to talk to people.

"Talk to people who have been through similar things to you," Simon said.

"They may not have the answers, but at least they know where you're coming from," he said.

Watch the video above to find out more about the group's experiences and advice for dealing with mental health issues.

If you are struggling and needing to talk to someone, the EFL's charity partner, Mind, has an Infoline which is a safe and confidential place to talk to someone and get support.

Talk to Mind on 0300 123 3393 or text on 86463. You can also find information and advice at Mind.org.uk


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