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FOUNDATION OF LIGHT
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โšฝ๏ธ๐•Š๐•Œโ„™๐”ผโ„ ๐•Š๐•Œโ„•๐”ป๐”ธ๐• Match highlights from @SunderlandRTC under-14s and under-16s' recent outings v @RTCDurham and Man Cโ€ฆ https://t.co/YBcd4XIDm7

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SAFC defender opens up on mental health

Former Sunderland AFC man Darren Williams has spoken about the struggle he had after retiring from football.

The defender opened up about his mental health and in doing so has urged others to have the confidence to speak up.

The Foundation of Light have a number of programmes to support people and their emotional well-being, something that is vital as we all deal with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

Darren spent eight years with the Black Cats and admits that following his retirement he did bottle his feelings up:

“Your head goes and you’re in a world of your own,โ€ he told Football Matters Podcast.

“I think the biggest thing for me was I was coming out of football, and I was going through a divorce. I was on my own for a bit because the kids were not here.

โ€œYou don’t catch on when you’re on the outside, I was still going to my mates and still going to have a pint with them.

โ€œYou don’t show it – you laugh and you joke, and you come home and you’re a completely different person.โ€

The 43-year-old would encourage anyone struggling with their feelings to open up and speak to someone:

โ€œYou’ve got to get out there and put it out there. It’s not a sympathy cry, but you’ve got to take it seriously.

“I would say to anyone, reach out to someone. Whoever it is, it doesn’t matter. I talk to people on social media privately because you’ve seen something they’ve put on, or maybe they’ve messaged you.

“You try and talk to them and if it helps one person, fantastic,โ€ he continued.

“I was fortunate I got a bit of help from the PFA. I had a guy who travelled up from London to meet up with me and he put me in contact with a few people.โ€

The Foundation of Light has joined forces withย Newcastle United Foundationย to launch #BeAGameChanger, encouraging people across our region to talk openly about mental health and provide tips on how to improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

Join the conversation and become a member of ourย Be a Game Changer Sunderland Facebook Page.

Organisations can find out more about the Be a Game Changer programme and receive a ToolKit to use across their business.

For more information emailย beagamechanger@foundationoflight.co.uk

 

Organisations can find out more about the Be a Game Changer programme and receive a ToolKit to use across their business.

For more information emailย beagamechanger@foundationoflight.co.uk

Written By Kate Smith

8 September 2020

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