However, around 14 months ago, I suffered a severe head injury from rugby. This was my third major concussion in two years, stopping me from doing any physical activities for over a year and leaving me with the possibility that I would never be able to play Rugby again. In the blink of an eye, I had gone from playing Rugby, training and working out 6 times a week, to getting a headache every time I walked up a flight of stairs.
This impacted me both physically and mentally. Exercise was a major part of relieving stress for me, and suddenly I couldn’t do it. At the time, I focused mainly on my physical side of recovery, but undermined the importance of mental health. I was getting headaches and feeling dizzy most days, which stopped me from studying and consequently increased the level of stress. With my education impacted, I began to struggle in school and didn’t know if I’d be able to make it into my final year of school.
My pride was getting in the way and stopped me from getting help. As a result, my mental health reached an all time low.
However, I was fortunate enough to have my friends, family and teachers help me open up and talk about my feelings. This took the weight off my shoulders, and gave me an outlet to vent my mixed emotions. I realised that just because I was an athlete, I didn’t have to bottle up my struggles and feelings.
1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England and that is why I want to stress the importance of people reaching out, and talking about their feelings.
This is why as well as donating my hair to the Little Princess trust, I will be raising money for Sporting Minds UK.
Sporting Minds UK is a registered charity, that seeks to raise awareness and provide support for positive mental health in sports people aged 16 to 30.
Their goal is to create a network and community in which young sports people can be open and honest about their mental health.
Any donations to help this amazing charity, no matter how big or small, will be greatly appreciated.
- The Harwoods
- Arts Barber
- Julie Angel
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