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'Football is a beast' - Luke Chambers and Flynn Downes open up on World Mental Health Day

PUBLISHED: 16:01 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 10 October 2019

Flynn Downes and Luke Chambers have spoken out about their mental health experiences with the CEO of Suffolk Mind for World Mental Health Day. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Flynn Downes and Luke Chambers have spoken out about their mental health experiences with the CEO of Suffolk Mind for World Mental Health Day. Picture: ROSS HALLS

ROSS HALLS

Ipswich Town Players Luke Chambers and Flynn Downes have spoken about the importance of opening up about mental health in a chat with Suffolk Mind CEO Jon Neal.

In a video posted on the club's Youtube channel, Jon Neal asked the two players and Town superfan Jordan Hockold, about their experiences in support of World Mental Health Day.

Luke Chambers kicked off the conversation, and said: "I think football is sort of a beast on its own really.

"Ever since I was a young player being brought up in the game you have to be mentally strong."

"You're taught to not act like there's any weaknesses, don't be upset, don't show any emotion, bounce back from the disappointments," explained the club captain.

"But it is okay to have a chat."

Flynn Downes, who went from playing in the Under 18s straight to the first team, said he struggled to cope with the "big step up".

He said: "When you have a bad game and you've got 20,000 people watching you, it does affect you and I didn't really know how to deal with that.

"Speaking about things helps massively. I didn't do that at the start but when I did it really helped."

When asked about why he doesn't have any social media, Flynn Downes explained: "Everyone is different. Some people can deal with seeing certain things, whilst I like to keep myself to myself and like to be away from everything."

"But it's like an injury. If you hurt your ankle you would say, so I knew I had to speak out."

Chambers then spoke about how the mental health of a player impacts their game, stating that everyone at the club is in a good place at the moment and that's why they are performing so well.

He added: "One of the biggest things I learnt from Mick McCarthy was to ask people how they are doing.

"Just take a few seconds to say, 'no really how are you? It's so important."

Suffolk Mind offer a range of services and support and their website can be found here.

Or, if you or someone you know would like to speak to the Samaritans, contact them on 116 123.

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