"There are two things in life that men are better than women at. One of them is peeing standing up. The other is not talking about their feelings. I should know as I’m an expert in both.

"One morning I woke up and I realised I was suddenly in my middle years, my life flashed before my eyes and what I saw wasn’t pretty. I knew I needed to get help, and those around me noticed that something wasn’t right but they didn’t know what was wrong with me because I didn’t talk about it.

"I ended up going to stress control groups where I sat at the back with my arms folded, staring at the seat in front, and praying that no one would start a conversation with me. I took medication and eventually thought I was cured. I went from not caring about anything or anyone to being overly sensitive, I wanted to wrap everyone I loved inside giant balls of cotton wool.

"In reality I was as far from being better, instead I was burying every worry I could find and quite a few more that I couldn’t. Eventually I tripped over the emotional tangles in my head and I struggled to get back up.

"It was round that time I noticed that Hibs had launched a programme with SAMH called the Changing Room which was to encourage men to tackle mental health. I thought it was ironic as the Edinburgh club were occasionally responsible for my low moods but I was curious.

"I went along to the launch of it where then manager Neil Lennon spoke about his depression. I signed up for more information and even although I had reservations about the initiative, I went along to see what it was about.

"The first thing that surprised me was that I wasn’t alone. The second thing that shocked me was that the condition affects people of all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care.

"The programme lasts twelve weeks and involves various things from walking and talking around the pitch at Easter Road to playing walking football, to yoga and inspirational talks from those connected to the club. We debate last week’s game and talk mental health.

"I don’t know at what point it clicked for me, but it did. I built a brilliant network of friends and I hadn’t had as much fun as I had in ages.

"Since coming along to the Changing Room I’ve came on leaps and bounds, I’ve sought professional advice, rekindled friendships and I’ve been open about my emotions with my family; I feel that I’m as close to them as I’ve ever been.

"I appreciate that there’s a long way for me to go, but it’s a journey that I’m willing to make. Since my participation in the Changing Room I’ve returned to help as a volunteer, I wanted to give back to the programme. Unfortunately I know what it’s like to feel that there’s no way out of a mental health problem but I also understand that there is."

The Changing Room

With programmes at both Hibs and Hearts football clubs, The Changing Room is using football to bring men together to tackle mental health. Find out more at hibs.thechangingroom.org.uk or hearts.thechangingroom.org.uk