Norwich City FC has commemorated World Mental Health Day with the most powerful video a sports team has ever released on the topic.
Trigger warning: The below video addresses the topics of mental health and suicide, and may be disturbing for some viewers.
The setup is abundantly clear. We have a fan who no longer seems to be taking joy from watching his team, something we’re told is a surefire warning sign for depression — and it is. The twist comes from the incredibly astute point that it’s often those who appear fine who are actually struggling the most, making it critically important to regularly check in on everyone in your circle, not just those who seem withdrawn.
I know this is true, because I’ve been there. Depression runs in my family, and it wasn’t until my early 30s that I accepted that I have it too. Sometimes a depressive period manifest itself with all the traditional warning signs: being withdrawn, lethargy, an unwillingness to engage in social activities. But more often in my personal battle I overcompensate when I’m feeling my worst. I don’t want to burden others with how I’m feeling, so I’ll be extroverted, I’ll arrange gatherings, I’ll talk to my friends excessively, but on a superficial level so they never really dig into how I’m feeling. It’s a terrible habit that I’m still learning to break in therapy, and open up with a willingness to admit to when I’m struggling.
There is no shame in admitting when you’re having difficulties in life. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s critical we continue to normalize sharing our emotions and trying to involve the people who love us in our lives in meaningful ways.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or any mental health episode: Firstly, know you are not alone. Second, please reach out to a mental health professional for assistance or call one of the following numbers.
988 — Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
1 (833) 456 4566 — Talk Suicide Canada
5255102550 — Suicide Hotline
0800 689 5652 — National Suicide Prevention Hotline
116 123 — Samaritans.org
131114 — Lifeline Crisis Support