Ipswich Town fan 'overwhelmed' with letter of support from Luke Chambers
PUBLISHED: 14:23 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:56 06 February 2019
Copyright Ashley Pickering
A loyal Ipswich Town supporter said he was "overwhelmed" to receive a supportive letter regarding his mental health from Blues skipper Luke Chambers.
Dean Sabine, 23, who has been a season ticket holder for the past five years, said he cannot thank the Ipswich captain enough for the personal letter and signed card from the Town squad.
Mr Sabine said his cousin contacted the club without his knowledge and the letter, which arrived yesterday, was “a nice surprise”.
Addressing the Blues fan in the letter, Chambers said: “I hear you’ve been struggling recently with your mental health.
“As you know, this season the club have been raising awareness of the importance of mental health.
“We don’t want to anyone to feel they are fighting it alone. Wishing you all the best Dean. Keep going mate.”
MORE: ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ – Ipswich Town launch new mental health campaign
Mr Sabine said: “The gesture was overwhelming and really made me feel better.
“I had had a bad weekend and it was great for the club I love to help pick me back up again. I can’t thank Luke Chambers enough for the personal message, it really did make me feel good about myself.
“Since then I’ve also had a message from Stephen Lancaster, Jack Lancaster’s dad, who has been lovely and wished me well.
“He is also sending me a signed programme in the post as Jack is injured and couldn’t sign the card, which shows how caring a family they are.”
The club launched a mental health campaign at the beginning of the season, working with charities Suffolk Mind and the Samaritans to support people in the community.
Mr Sabine, who lives in Ludham, Norfolk, praised the club for its approach and urged anyone struggling with their mental health to talk to someone.
“I think it’s great that the club are working closely with mental health issues,” he added.
“Football is a great platform to connect with young people as well as older and Ipswich are doing a great job at it.
“I would encourage anyone going through a tough time to reach out to anyone. The club’s platform, family, friends, colleagues, teachers etc.
“It’s something I found very hard being a bit of a closed book, but talking has made this all feel so much better and I feel so much more protected. So please talk.”
Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “Luke Chambers has provided an excellent example of how our partnership with Ipswich Town can have an impact in many different ways.
“Taking the time to get a card signed by the team and send it to Dean showed that mental health is a high priority, not just for the club, but also for the players individually.
“It’s really important for role models like Luke to lead by example, sometimes talking openly about mental health, but also taking the time to notice when people around you are struggling and making a gesture to show that they matter.”
A spokesman for Ipswich Town said: “The club is actively working, particularly alongside Suffolk Mind and the Samaritans locally, to promote the great work organisations do in helping the growing numbers affected by mental health issues.”