Commonwealth Games cyclist Rab opens up about his own mental health issues.
''Sadly I lost my best friend to suicide last year and I wish he’d felt able to open up and talk to people about how he was feeling''
Commonwealth Games cyclist Rab Wardell recently took part See Me Scotland's Walk a Mile event with Dunoon Grammar on June 9th. Here Rab opens up about his own mental health issues.
I think it is important for everyone to speak about their mental health, especially young people. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. When it comes to your mental health speaking about how you feel or how you are doing can really help, and take the weight off of your shoulders.
I think talking about your mental health when you’re young can be very difficult. I think a lot of the time when you are young you don't really know what you are feeling, and you don't always know how to put how you feel into words. Or sometimes you don't want to worry your friends or family. Just remember that there are people here to help, and you aren't being weak or silly if you need to talk. We all feel like that from time to time.
I’ve struggled with my own mental health, especially as a professional cyclist where I was racing and travelling a lot.
I used to try to hide these times and keep them to myself. But recently I have spoken with friends and family, and I have even been to see my GP. That really helps me and I come away feeling more positive, with my thoughts in line and like a weight has been taken off my mind. I now feel more comfortable talking about my mental health. But this isn’t always the case. Sadly I lost my best friend to suicide last year and I wish he’d felt able to open up and talk to people about how he was feeling.
Unfortunately people in the cycling industry don’t tend to open up about their mental health.
Especially in competition there can be a lot of pressure to deliver results which can be very stressful. On the plus side being in the outdoors and exercising can be really positive and can help you feel good.
Don't be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Everyone can feel low and no matter what your problems are they can be solved