Belfast Telegraph

Home News Health

Former Northern Ireland star Neil Lennon reveals he suffered from depression during Hibs' title charge

By Cate McCurry

Former Northern Ireland international footballer Neil Lennon has revealed his battle with depression while managing a Scottish football team.

The Hibernian boss has previously spoken about his struggle with mental health during his playing days.

The Lurgan man has opened up about how he continues to face problems and how he recently suffered an "episode".

Lennon revealed in an autobiography, published over 10 years ago, that he had suffered from depression since 2000.

The former Celtic boss recently admitted that he felt low while leading the Hibernian team back into the top tier of Scottish football.

Speaking to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, Lennon told Sky Sports News: "The job is difficult enough when you're feeling okay.

"But when you suffer from a bout of depression everything is magnified. You feel 10 times worse about things.

"I did have an episode of it this season for about four or five weeks and the club were great about it.

"They were really supportive, as were my back-room staff as well.

"I got through it okay and came out the other side. When you come out the other side it's a great feeling.

"There was a lot of people there for me, the LMA (League Managers' Association) included. They were a great source of help.

"What you do is put a brave face on publicly - but inside you are feeling it.

"I totally understand why people don't want to talk about it, but the more you talk about it to professional people, the easier it becomes to deal with."

He was speaking days after Everton winger Aaron Lennon was detained under the Mental Health Act.

The footballer's club stated that he was suffering from a stress-related illness.

The footballer was taken to hospital to be assessed after police officers assisted him on a road in Salford near Manchester last week.

Former England striker Stan Collymore, who has suffered from depression, tweeted his support for Aaron Lennon.

"Thoughts and love with Aaron Lennon and his family right now," he posted on social media.

"I know that place, and I know he'll be fine with good support from us all."

The Hibs manager urged people dealing with depression to seek help.

Speaking previously about his long battle with depression, Lennon said: "I would say to people who are suffering, whether they are in football or not, to seek help and talk to somebody, be it a professional person or a loved one."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph