With depression being such a high profile issue in football since the sad death of Gary Speed and a handful of players admitting they have also suffered at various points of their careers, Depression Alliance UK in conjunction with ex Premiership footballer and radio pundit Stan Collymore are running a campaign to highlight an issue often shied away from. Many sufferers find it hard to admit to having a problem with depression initially, and even harder to talk about it and seek help. Many aren't even aware that depression is the cause of the feelings they may be having.
To bring attention to the people who can help - anonymously, online, or through local support groups Stan has been collecting signed and match worn shirts from his contacts and friends in the game and is running a prize draw for anyone who wishes to donate a fiver to support the charity's work up until the 31st of the month. A full list of all the shirts and Premiership hospitality prizes are available at the link above, along with terms and conditions.
In support of the campaign, and to raise awareness of Depression Alliance UK locally, Dundee Football Club Supporters Society have kindly agreed to donate a squad signed 2011/12 shirt to the campaign. Thanks to Jacqui Robertson and Scott Glenday for their help in arranging this.
To enter and stand a chance of winning either the Dee top or one of the countless others that have been donated simply text STAN to 70555 and your £5 donation will be debited from your next phone bill. A text will be received to enter the draw and this is charged at the standard network rate.
In the near future DFCSS hope to work with the Dundee Association for Mental Health to highlight the vital work they do and services they provide to our local community. More details are available at www.damh.org.uk
Jacqui Robertson, DFCSS Community Director added:
"Recent press coverage of high profile footballers has brought the subject of mental health issues to the fore, which while sad and traumatic for those involved, seems to have also sparked a huge amount of discussion on the subject.
This is no bad thing, and I have recieved several private messages from Dundee fans who themselves suffer from depression. Some have been brave enough to say it out loud while others have privately praised the fact Dundee Football Club have highlighted such a difficult subject.
Later in the season one of our planned health initiatives includes young people with difficulties in their lives such as depression and I would like to see that day include people from all walks of life as depression can affect anybody, at any time.
We are led to believe that footballing icons and celebrities such as Gary Speed, Stan Collymore, and Dean Windass have the ultimate lifestyles, but recent events and the courage of individuals to speak up just shows how easily depression can affect anyone regardless of privilege or lifestyle.
I had no hesitation in supporting this initiative as it is a cause close to my heart, as well as many of my friends. I would urge anyone who needs to talk to someone to do just that. Don't wait, do it now. Being prepared to listen is just as important and I hope that as a football club we can do our bit to help the cause and remove the stigma attached to depression and mental health.issues."