People say everything happens for a reason. I’m thinking they maybe right.
Recently Dafydd James, Ex-Welsh and British lion Rugby player opened up about his own struggles with mental health when a recent report in December 2018 said “62% of retired professionals suffered in silence”
I’ve known Dafydd for a number of years to chat, first from friends and then coaching my local football team. You see I’m all football so I didn’t realise what Dafydd had actually done in the game of Rugby of course I knew he played for Wales but in the rugby community he’s a legend.
Just a week after New Year’s Day I remember thinking to myself something wasn’t right with Daf after seeing him in our gym. Then a week later by chance I walked into the nearby coffee shop by the gym and we started to talk. Daf knew about my own struggles and my work in mental health.
You see men find it hard to talk about anxiety and depression but when both people open up it’s surprising what happens. I have told Dafydd things and visa versa but what I didn’t expect him to do was to talk about his own journey and still his journey through depression a fortnight later on television. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-wales-47047339
You see to me Dafydd is an inspiration to me now not just for his rugby career but for me as it’s made my job easier to get dads to open up.
In the United Kingdom know the biggest killer in men under 45 is suicide and over half a million male suicides globally happens each year. I know Daf has saved lives without even knowing if I am honest the ripple effect has again started. I like Daf can now wake up each morning knowing we have made a difference and changing the way we think of mental health.
I have recently seen the INCREDIBLE feedback from Dafydd opening up which will help generations to come as well as people suffering today as we know at least one in four of us suffer in our lifetime which I think it’s more actually. The new “Man Up” is talking about your mental health like physical health while getting the professional help.
Dafydd his in between sales jobs like I was when I suffering in silence with great money but little purpose he always does some work in the media about rugby and talks already. But there is a real need for people like Dafydd in professional sports clubs as a mentor or a coach to talk and open up players today are worried about contracts and if they would be picked if they were to tell the managers about their mental health concerns.
Big need in these sports academy as we know a small percentage really make it like Dafydd and sadly many are affected for years later. I have seen it from first hand experience and clubs need to look at this now.
I personally would love to see Dafydd speaking in sports clubs, schools, organisations about his experience. If anyone I know should be doing this full time it’s him as it will help so many people, save money and most importantly lives.
I can see Dafydd bringing Physical health and Mental Health together with the right support behind him. He already a fitness coach and with his own experience of mental health is a professor of his own experience.
http://dafydd-james.com/ Daf will tell you it’s strange how we bumped into each other but it was the same when I bumped into my friend Brian in the gym in 2011 and set up “Father’s Reaching Out” and now I am a keynote speaker and trainer myself today.
Sadly I don’t do much work in my own country of Wales as I mostly work in England and Scotland but today Dafydd has opened up conversations for me with a wonderful lady from Hafol Charity.
Anyone who knows me it works both ways and everyone working together is the way forward. We are looking at doing some work together in the future but most importantly todays blog is about getting Dafydd on the speaking mental health speaking circuit like me and loving it.
Please contact Dafydd via Twitter, LinkedIn or by his Email which can be found on his fitness website and have a look at his e-book too.
I have to say things do happen for a reason It was at the right time and it was for a reason we started to talk.