"Football truly saved my life"
About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health (inpatient) Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Adult mental health (inpatient) NG3 6AA
Posted by Gerrard (as ),
The problems started when I was 14 and I kept getting into trouble. When I was 18 I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and I also suffered depression.
In 2006 I got involved with the Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Team who after talking to me found out about my passion for football. With the help of the team I completed the FA Level 1 and 2 coaching courses for sports leaders. I am now a volunteer at Stonebridge running the pitch activities and at Bilborough Pelicans. I am club captain at Notts County Pan Disability Team and in 2012 I was nominated as disability player of the year.
I feel now that the future is bright and my ambition is to be a coach on a disability football team. The Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Team helped me to take the first step on the rung of the ladder. I was quite volatile before but they made me feel at ease. They had confidence in me, which was a first for me!
I can say that football truly saved my life. I love football; watching, playing and coaching and I want to break down the barriers associated with mental illness. There is stigma but I deal with it by being open. My coaching course taught me to encourage the young kids I work with to ask questions. After all it is only by asking questions that we can learn.