Last week, we received a £200 donation from Harrogate Town footballer, Brendan Kiernan.
He decided to make Wellspring his charity of choice, donating his £200 prize from Man of the Match last Saturday. (You may have seen the match live on BT Sport.)
We’re so grateful for Brendan’s support and we love his passion for raising awareness of mental health, particularly in the world of football. We had a chat with him to find out more…
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into football?
I got into football aged 7, playing outside my house with my mates. It just started out as a bit of fun and as I got older I got more serious about it. I really enjoy winning a tough match and being part of the key moments in a game. It’s also great to have a laugh with the team in the changing room.
Why do you think mental health awareness matters? And what’s the conversation like within the world of football?
I care about raising awareness, because everyone has tough days and looking after your mental wellbeing is so important. At the moment in the football, there’s a lot more awareness about it than ever before. Sometimes people may be worried about seeming weak if they need support, but now people in football are starting to talk more openly about it and that makes it easier for people to reach out. There are players out there struggling and places like Wellspring can help people talk.
What advice would you give to young people and adults who might be struggling with their mental health?
I’d say that talking is a great tool for dealing with challenges. And places like Wellspring create that space to talk. I’d say ‘space’ is key. Our lives can be quite busy and so you might not feel like you have that space anywhere else.
Looking after your mind can be like a football match. Ultimately you don’t win unless you work with your teammates, you can’t win alone. It’s the same in life – some things you can’t do alone. So don’t feel like you’ve failed if you ask for help. Everyone has good and bad days and just like your physical wellbeing it’s important to look after your mental wellbeing.
Wellspring offers professional, confidential and affordable counselling for adults and young people. Find out more here.