When discussing her work with FC Mindwell's charity partner Links Counselling Service, it's with a note of caution that Laura Wylie highlights that the latest available figures regarding suicide in Northern Ireland are two years old.
In times like these, that's long enough ago to constitute a different world. And yet, long before all the uncertainty and isolation endured by many over the past months, already almost one person in the province took their own life each day.
The numbers are arresting, yet large enough to be difficult to comprehend. For many, facts and figures simply don't register in the same way as names and faces. It is only when confronted with such tragedy in our own smaller circles that the stark reality is forced upon us.
For Keith Gillespie, that moment came on November 27, 2011 - the day his former Newcastle United team-mate Gary Speed was found dead.
"When Gary Speed took his own life, you were utterly amazed," recalled the 86-times-capped Northern Ireland hero.
"When I think about how it felt to hear the news, even today, you're still almost thinking, 'Did that happen? Surely it couldn't have'.
"As a team-mate, you could never have met a nicer guy than Gary, and there'd be people who I'm sure just saw him as a footballer and then as a manager and, from that, assume that his life is just utterly brilliant.
"Behind closed doors, it obviously wasn't. People think that footballers don't have problems, don't have emotions, but that was a real wake-up call for everyone. Gary's death, it's incredibly sad, an absolute tragedy, but maybe it's something that has helped to bring issues like this out into the public eye more."
Gillespie himself believes the tragedy made him more willing to speak about the ups and downs of his own career, subsequently documented in his strikingly candid 2013 autobiography How Not to Be A Football Millionaire.
A part of Manchester United's famed 'Class of '92' alongside the likes of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and the Neville brothers, what began with placing a casual £1 bet on a horse in the Ladbrokes not far from his club digs soon became a destructive habit for the Bangor man.
Indeed, after leaving Manchester for Newcastle - wanted by Kevin Keegan as part of the deal that took Andy Cole to Old Trafford in 1995 - the pattern of addictive behaviour had become so pronounced that he lost the equivalent of a year's salary over the course of two days in the bookies, squandering £4,000 on the last bet of what he dubbed his 'Black Friday' backing a 12/1 outsider in the 4.40 at Bangor.
The less-than-aptly-named Dream Ride came in 10th, and Gillespie, amid a purple patch of form at St James' Park, was forced to ask for an advance of his bonus payments to cover the debt.
"Gambling was a release for me," he said. "When I wasn't playing or training, I was gambling. I'd say I've got an addictive personality, I've always sort of known that. It could be anything, I can get hooked on playing a game on my phone and never be off it. That's the way I still am."
Gambling with such sums and such regularity naturally took its toll on his mental health.
"Everything is linked. When things are going well, you don't think about it, but when you lose a lot of money, that's going to get you down," he said.
"Having all these experiences, whenever I sat down to do the book, I wanted it to be a very open one. My thoughts were that I'd only get one chance at it and the mental health issues were something I wanted to discuss. It gets to a point where you need to speak out about it."
Doing so then was of huge help to Gillespie, as it has been for his new team-mates at FC Mindwell now.
The side, who enjoyed a pre-season victory over Keady Celtic in their first ever game last Saturday, were formed only a few months ago as the first football club in Northern Ireland dedicated to helping those with mental health issues.
Emerging from lockdown thanks to a flurry of Zoom calls and WhatsApp activity, the club are preparing for life in the third division of the Mid-Ulster League kicking off later this month, with players already reaping the benefits of sharing a changing room and their stories.
Having established a relationship with the Links Counselling Service and reached an agreement to use Armagh's Holm Park, all things are already lining up for a first competitive fixture on August 22.
From the first spark of an idea to a fully-formed team, the pace of progress has been rapid and already there are plans to form a women's team and, eventually, find a home of their own.
For now, the focus will be solely on the first team, where former Irish League men like Matt Hazley and Paul Walsh will also line out.
Gillespie was brought on board by his friend and business partner Brian Adair - co-founder and himself a former Irish League midfielder - with the club's ethos immediately striking a chord with the 45-year-old.
"Brian approached me asking how I would feel about pulling the boots on again and my first thought was I can't see that happening," he laughed. "But once he explained what the team involved, with the mental health side to things, it was something that I really wanted to support.
"Two training sessions in a week is the most I've done since I retired seven years ago but I'm enjoying being back at it. You talk to anyone who plays football, there's no better buzz than that of a dressing room.
"Whenever I think back to my last ever day as a footballer, to go home and think that I'd never do it again, it's very hard to explain. At the level I played, the adrenaline of the big games and big crowds, and when you don't have that, it's a real comedown and it's difficult to deal with.
"But at any level of football, afterwards you're left thinking, 'Well, what do I do next?' That's where for a lot of people the problems start. Boys are already sharing their stories and talking about how playing again has had a real impact on their lives, given them their hunger back.
"I've spoken about my own problems and know now how helpful that is, so fingers crossed the journey that we're starting here is going to help people."