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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.
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.