It might not seem like the sort of headline that will grab the average man’s attention, and granted if you are not one of the estimated 12.5% of men who suffer some form of mental illness, then I imagine you’re already wondering why you’re still reading.
It may be however, that you are one of the estimated 1 in 8 men that do suffer some form of mental illness, or indeed one in five women who also live with anxiety, depression or stress. If that is the case then please stick with me for a few moments because this week an event is taking place at Sincil Bank that may be of great benefit to you.
As a sufferer myself, quite often it is hard to approach the subject with your family and friends, and perhaps even harder to accept it yourself. Mental health is something that is swept under the carpet too often, something that for many years has been taboo. Tabloid newspapers have got away with labelling sufferers as ‘bonkers’ or ‘mad’ well into the current decade. It really has only been the last couple of years where sufferers and physicians alike have said ‘enough is enough’, and proper work has gone into dealing with the problems people are facing.
Recently great leaps have been made thanks to several high-profile people admitting they’ve had issues, such as Ant McPartland or Aaron Lennon. Anxiety and depression in sport is particularly rife, and in such a ‘lad’ environment it is taking great courage for players to face their issues head on. Every week a new player speaks up, the most recent being former Spurs defender Stephen Caulker.
At a local level, fewer people have the profile of winger Nathan Arnold. He’s the skilful forward that danced around the Ipswich keeper in the final moments of our FA Cup third round match, he’s the player who swivelled on a sixpence to volley past the Gateshead keeper and set us up for a return to the Football League. He’s also the player that admitted to suffering from anxiety, and now he wants to use his experience and profile to help others.
This Wednesday at Sincil Bank Nathan is hosting an evening, a small gathering of people who have been through, or are going through, the same things he has experienced. He’ll be chatting to the group about his issues and how he has managed to move forward with his life using NLP and counselling. As well as being dedicated to firing Lincoln to success next season, he is determined to use his experiences to help other sufferers.
“I’ve struggled with anxiety, and since opening up about it a lot more people have come to me and opened up about it too. That isn’t always easy, so Wednesday is about understanding what anxiety actually is, where it stems from and how I’ve found a formula to get control over my life again. It’s an opportunity to share with people how I did it and it’s an opportunity for people to hopefully take great value from it and work towards eliminating their demons too.”
On the evening others will also be sharing their experiences, myself included, hopefully demonstrating that nobody is alone in fighting their demons. It promises to be an empowering event which I firmly believe will be of benefit to those amongst you suffering from anxiety, depression, stress or other forms of intrusive and debilitating mental illness. There will be no pressure to share if you don’t want to, but I’m sure there will be a lot of useful information from Nathan, particularly about NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) and how he has learned to cope with his own issues. It will also be a chance to surround yourself with people who understand, perhaps even reducing the feelings of isolation such conditions can create.
The event is limited to fifty people, and at the moment there are spaces left. It will take place at Sincil Bank this Wednesday, July 5th at 7pm. If you’re suffering and you feel you’d benefit from attending, please drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you’d like to come along.
If you want to read more about my own experiences, please refer back to the blog I did during mental health week