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Celtic manager Lennon tells players to confront stigma of depression


Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Getty Images

CELTIC manager Neil Lennon has urged football players to overcome the stigma of depression and seek help if affected by mental illness.

Lennon revealed he had helped "a couple of younger players at our club" deal with depression.

The Hoops boss, 40, who suffers from the illness, did not go into detail about his dealings with the Parkhead players but urged anyone who is affected not to be "ashamed" to seek help.

"It's not a sign of laziness, or nothing to be ashamed of, it's a very difficult situation to deal with," he told BBC Sport.

"People say 'go on holiday', 'go and have a rest' but you take [the depression] with you.

"The best thing I've found over the years to cope with it is to talk about it, get professional help and if there is a tablet you have to take that suits you, then do that.

"Some of the strongest, most intelligent, driven individuals in the history of the world have suffered from depression.

"It usually hits people who are pretty driven. I've been able to deal with it a lot better since I've been able to talk about it.

"It's a fantastic feeling when you come out the other side of it and it's a place you don't want to go to again.

"I would implore anybody out there, footballers or from any other walk of life, if you are struggling or are feeling depressed - it's not a question of feeling down.

"This thing stays with you 24/7, the low mood, the anxiety, the stress - just go and speak to somebody about it, whether it be a loved one or a professional person, and it halves the problem for you."

PA Media