In order to help people with their struggles, we know that opening up and talking things through is crucial - and often very difficult thing to do for so many of us.
I Hear You has been created as a safe platform to support this process. We offer varying services and tailor our support to your personality.
We appreciate it’s not also easy to talk about how we feel, and we are that place to come to, to be heard and understood. We help people to be strengthened in mind, so they can find value in themselves outside their sports performance, whilst also following their dreams and achieving their sporting goals.
Liam Joyce, 33 from Colchester is a mental health counsellor who also now specialises in counselling footballers. As well as a counsellor Liam has worked as an operations manager in the retail business. He is also the manager at Stanway Rovers Football Club. Football has been a huge and important part of his life – he lives and breathes the game.
Liam has experienced hard times from a young age which in turn has affected his mental health. He tragically lost his mother when he was just 12 years old.
Liam is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and wants to use his experience to offer a lifeline to others. His personality is that of a down-to-earth, sensitive and nurturing individual. This combination of inter-personal skills help people to feel they can trust him and are comfortable in opening up, sharing their worries and concerns.
An increasing number of footballers are seeking help with regards to their mental health support according to the Professional Footballers' Association.
Mental health and football have historically not been regarded as that important or taken that seriously even though there is a large number of professional footballers suffering in full view of the media.
It’s quite common that footballers tend to struggle from depression and anxiety more often than the general public. When you think about what footballers put themselves through, from the elite players in the Premier League to those struggling by on much smaller wages in the lower leagues. They all spend long periods of time away from their families. They can play football in front of large, hostile crowds of people, some of whom abuse them verbally and throw objects at them. If a player makes a mistake on the pitch he or she not only lets down their team-mates but also thousands of fans who can then turn on him or her. The elite also have the pressure of intense media focus on their private lives. Then there is also the struggle to maintain form to keep your place in the team, trying to avoid injury but whilst also having to give your all on the pitch and in training. Then there are those that have serious, career-threatening injuries – will they ever play again? How will they now provide for their families?
Considering all of this is it really all that surprising that footballers can struggle with mental health issues?
Fortunately, now there has been a shift in how clubs and players are dealing with mental health and this, in part is where Liam comes in. He has set up an easy to access platform which includes a group for people to speak out about their feelings or one-to-one counselling. He created “I Hear You” to help people, to help them realise they are not on their own. Liam can help people and feels truly passionate about it.
“I hope this will encourage people to start talking, opening up and expressing what’s going on in their heads. I hope they can try to realise they are not alone, and I want to encourage them they can lead a normal life with balance and control.”