“Going through school, mental health was never talked about hence why I kept it to myself and disclosed it as just being ‘tired’. Being a young person in school it is very hard not to be judged or stereotyped, and as a tall, large rugby player I didn’t want people to know that I was suffering with my personal mental health.
“Keeping my feelings bottled up inside led to me being physically ill. After speaking to my parents and teachers who advised me to see a counsellor, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. My confidence grew afterwards and it allowed me to become the person who I am now.”
I always knew I was having problems with my mental health. I felt really different to everyone else and I really struggled in school. I felt lonely. You can be surrounded by loads of people but it feels like no one understands you.
I think my first ever proper panic attack was when I was in Year 4. It was just so confusing and really scary. I got to that point where I was always very much like I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I didn’t want to upset anyone.