Ben Farrell says the support he has received from AFC Rushden & Diamonds and the wider football community since he revealed he has been suffering with anxiety and depression has been “brilliant”.
The Diamonds midfielder, who has scored 34 goals in 123 appearances for the club so far, has spoken out about his 13-year battle with mental health in an exclusive interview with the Northamptonshire Telegraph.
In an Instagram post on May 9, Farrell revealed he had quit his job to focus on his recovery after being struck down with anxiety and depression again.
And since then, he has been pleased and amazed by the support he has received from those at Hayden Road and further afield.
“The support I have had since I put the post out has been brilliant,” the 32-year-old said.
“My team-mates have contacted me privately to show their support.
“I don’t think any of them had any idea what was going on but that was down to me hiding it well and doing my best to hide it.
“I still feel anxious walking into a dressing-room so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them had noticed it.
“The worst thing about it is that when I was 16, 17, 18 I was confident. I couldn’t have been any more outgoing.
“Football changing rooms are brutal places and I went from being the one to give out the banter to being someone who couldn’t do it and couldn’t take it because of the anxiety.
“But since I put that post out, it just shows that people are there for you.
“All the coaches at Diamonds, individually, have reached out to me as have the majority of the players.
“I have had different issues in the past year but Stacey (club secretary Hawkins) has been there for me and was straight on to me when all this came out so she has been a rock.
“Even volunteers from around the club have been messaging me and offering me support.
“The whole club has been amazing and I think that’s why I felt comfortable coming out and telling people about it.
“I feel I am in a dressing-room where I can trust everyone and that makes all the difference.”