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Clarke Carlisle: 'No shame' at suicide bid

The former York City footballer, Clarke Carlisle has today said he felt "no shame" about his recent suicide attempt as he joined the Deputy Prime Minister at the launch of a project to tackle mental health discrimination in sport.

The 35-year-old former chair of the Professional Footballers' Association spent six weeks in a psychiatric unit after attempted suicide by throwing himself in front of a lorry in North Yorkshire in December.

Speaking at the Oval Cricket Ground in London during the launch of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation, Carlisle said:

People are very delicate stepping around it - there's no shame invested in it for me. I tried to commit suicide because I was incredibly unwell, but it's changed my life. I stand here today with a very different perspective of what it means to be alive in this world.

A large proportion of society will look at a sports star and say: 'You're doing the job of you're dreams, you're getting paid fantastic amounts of money, you're getting adulation and playing in front of crowds, what have you got to be unhappy about?'

Depression, anxiety, all the plethora of strands of mental health, they've got nothing to do with happiness or sadness. It's an illness. It's not a choice, it's not an option, it needs treating in the right manner.

– Clarke Carlisle

Major sporting bodies including the Rugby Football Union, English Cricket Board and the Football Association, have all committed to sign the charter committing to removing the stigma and prejudice around mental health from the world of sport.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance and Professional Players Federation have brought together around 20 organisations, including leading mental health charity Mind.

Teenage boys with mental health problems 'on the rise'

The number of teenage boys suffering from mental health problems is on the rise, with more boys suffering from anorexia, a top head teacher has warned.

Male pupils are developing mental health issues because they are under pressure to achieve academically, experts warned. Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Bernard Trafford, who runs Newcastle's Royal Grammar School, warned the number of male pupils suffering from an anxiety-related condition has risen as they are under pressure to achieve academically.

Childline figures from 2012 - 2013 suggest 278,886 calls to their hotline were made by young people regarding mental health issues, with 5,208 made by boys about image issues.

According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, 443 children under 13 were treated for an eating disorder by the NHS in 2010-11, including 79 under 10.

Mr Trafford explained: "One in 10 children will suffer from a mental health disorder at some stage of their school career, that's two of three in every class and it's getting worse."

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