Paul Gleghorne has hailed a new initiative which has seen Ulster Hockey team up with a local charity to help young people aged between 14 and 18 cope with mental health issues in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sport's governing body has joined forces with MindWise to offer a free six-week course to local hockey clubs to address their concerns.
MindWise has worked with its charity partner, Mental Health UK, to develop the training programme called 'Your Resilience' to help athletes look after their own mental health.
Rio 2016 Olympian Gleghorne is well qualified to talk about the subject, having suffered from serious mental health issues since he was a teenager.
The Instonians and Ireland defender, capped 238 times, opened up about his predicament in 2015 and attracted headlines in the news pages which published his brave and forthright account of his challenges.
Welcoming the initiative, Gleghorne declared: "When I first experienced what I now know as mental illness, I was young and struggled to process my feelings.
"I didn't know if they were just part of life or something more serious. By the time I realised that these thoughts and feelings were serious, I was too scared to speak to anyone and ask for help.
"I didn't know of other people with a similar condition and had a fear of what others would think of me, but when I finally opened up none of my fears came true and I was overwhelmed with support.
"I can assure anyone who is struggling with mental illness that you're not alone and seeking help will be beneficial to your mental health."
Ulster Hockey Executive Manager Marc Scott added: "We are delighted to work in partnership with MindWise to jointly raise awareness of mental health issues and help our younger members develop resilience and wellbeing skills.
"The impact of the Covid situation and restrictions on the everyday lives of our members brings into focus the need to consider their wellbeing and resilience and we hope that this project will make a significant and positive impact in this regard."
More information on the joint initiative can be obtained by contacting 'Your Resilience' co-ordinator Tara Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org