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Football and me
Posted by seanmac
22nd Aug 2018

Hi my name is Sean I have lived with BPD since the age of 21 though experienced mental health issues before then, but Dr didnít really take notice of it even when I attempted suicide at 18 I was never put on medication or opened up to services.
I actually noticed a serious down turn in my mood soon after my my first son was born, I didnít let my partner at the time know I was struggling, then one day I took an overdose I somehow got to my place of work where I quit and admitted what I had done, they called an ambulance and that was my real first downfall, after a number of suicide attempts I started seeing a psychologist I become homeless as my partner had left me and they helped me get into a flat, I become obsessed with suicide for a while I think it was knowing when I did it I got help when I didnít I had to wait 3 weeks or so to see someone to talk to, they tried to put me in group therapy and I couldnít engage, they then told me about this group where a few services users met up and played football every week for an hour, I went along and it changed my life it was fantastic we would meet up play football, stop and chat after. I started to feel human again, sadly the NHS stopped funding it and the group stopped, my mental health went downhill and the cycle started again, I met a women who lived in Sussex and moved down there.
When I got here there where no programs like I had used in the past, so I thought why donít I create one, so went to a local mental health charity called Together and they provided me with a small grant for £200 to get started, within a month I was contacted by Brighton and Hove Albion and Lewes CFC (who I was also volunteering for) and they expressed interest in the program, I went on board with Lewes as they where my local club and I followed them, so with in 3 years we have over 22 players at our sessions, we hosted the largest mental health tournament in the country and featured on Sky Sports News, the reason I think football works is not only does it create endorphins our happy hormone it also uses many aspects we struggle with often when battling depression, communication, team work and the social aspect we would often set aside 30mins during the session purely for that.
I am now just started to create a similar program at Newhaven FC, but my focus is that this becomes more outcome based I want to focus on how the sessions actually make the players feel, and how we can implement them in their daily life, I still struggle but I find doing this work often helps me overcome my deamons.

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