4th April 2019
One year on from the launch of The Changing Room at Hibs, a project which is bringing together men in their middle years to take action on mental health and wellbeing, Kristian writes about the difference it’s made to his life.
“I came across The Changing Room while I was attending SAMH’s Redhall Walled Garden as a trainee. My mental health had become overwhelming, and after a month under the care of intensive home treatment team, I was continuing my recovery at Redhall and gradually my self-esteem and confidence had began to grow.
“However I still felt lonely and disconnected from my local community. I wanted to meet and talk to new people, so was really pleased to find out about The Changing Room at Easter Road.
“The Changing Room was a welcoming and safe environment to talk about my mental health recovery, and to learn new skills and techniques to help me manage my wellbeing. Through the project, my physical activity gradually increased, and I was able to open up about my mental health.
“It gave me hope for the future, and by increasing my confidence and self-esteem, I was able to develop new friendships. It made me feel less lonely and it was such a relief to be open and honest about my mental health.
“Over the course of the project, the conversation moved from football to being more about mental health. We had positive and proactive conversations, which were great for my healing process. The Changing Room was non-judgemental, and helped me to move on to better and bigger things in life.
“It sounds like such a simple thing, but the connections that were built up over the 12 week programme reduced my loneliness so much. The leaders on the course were really understanding, and I feel so fortunate to have taken part.
“My older brother took his own life through mental illness, and I really feel that something like The Changing Room could have helped him. I miss him dearly, but feel so grateful for all the hope and courage that The Changing Room has given me – it’s completely turned my life around.”
The Changing Room is funded by the Movember Foundation and delivered by SAMH, SPFL Trust, and Hibernian Football Club.
Find out more about The Changing Room at Hibs at hibs.thechangingroom.org.uk/