Steven Gerrard says his mental health is a 'work in progress' and urges men to get talking

'You have to accept some days will be better than others,' Steven Gerrard tells Rangers fans

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has urged men to open up about their mental health and says his own is "a work in progress".

The former Liverpool and England star shared his views with a group of Rangers fans who had themselves sought help with their mental wellbeing through the club.

Gerrard gave a rousing Team Talk to the supporters and also took questions about his own experiences.

ITV News joined the online video conference and asked about how he balances the highs and lows of a football career.

The Rangers manager opened up about experiencing 'cruel lows' during his playing career

He said: "I think it’s something I’m still working on, from a personal point of view, it’s part of management and I think it’s part of everyday life, you have to accept that some days are gonna be better than others.

"That was one area that I felt I needed to get better at and focus on from a personal point of view so as I say, it’s a work in progress.

"In this position it is very important that I do try and remain as balanced as I can when facing adversity or from a success point of view as well.”

Gerrard said the lowest points of his career were when he was injured.

"Being a player, it’s not always fantastic, it’s not always enjoyable," he said.

Watch ITV News Scotland's interview with Steven Gerrard on Rangers title win, Liverpool links and racism in football

"The journey does take you to some really high places in terms of winning stuff, but it also takes you to some cruel lows as well and on the back of them cruel lows you can have some real days where you don’t feel great and you’re a little bit down and you need people around you to really help pick yourself up.

"I think the key to it all is never keeping it in and never thinking that’s the right thing to keep it in and always try if you can to have people around you that you can talk to and set-backs with and share problems with, I think that always helps get you back in a better place, that’s what I’ve learned from experience."

These sessions for fans are funded by online casino 32Red, who today announced a multi-year extension to their partnership with Rangers, despite a government review of gambling companies sponsoring football clubs.

Steven Gerrard (centre right) hugs goalkeeper Allan McGregor at the end of the Scottish Cup fourth round match at Ibrox, Glasgow. Credit: PA

Mental health in football has also been thrust into the spotlight by recent stories about player welfare and Gerrard had advice for anyone in the game ignoring the issue.

"I think start taking it seriously. This has given me a big lift coming on here today. I think it’s a fantastic project. I think a lot of clubs, certainly in this country and also down south as well put a lot of hard work in to support people who need it. 

"Myself, from a personal point of view and I know a lot of the players, or all the players, echo this in saying we want to do everything we can to be more connected to the fans and help them in any way we can.

"I think there needs to be more, we need to keep growing this from a Rangers point of view and we’ll do everything we can to do that."

If you or someone you know has been affected by the issues raised in this article, help is available:

Mental health charity MIND has lots of information to help you understand and manage your situation when you need help.

Sporting Chance supports individuals and organisations across sport to address mental health, emotional welfare and addictive disorders. 

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a national charity dedicated to preventing male suicide.