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Strood father turns round suicidal thoughts and hosts Arsenal charity football match in Maidstone

Suicides are often at the forefront of the news agenda.

Today is National Suicide Prevention Day, and one man who is proving mental health problems should not hold you back is Daniel Arthur.

Daniel Arthur tells of how he overcame depression and ran a charity football match with mental health charity Mind. Picture: Sean Aidan (15399215)
Daniel Arthur tells of how he overcame depression and ran a charity football match with mental health charity Mind. Picture: Sean Aidan (15399215)

The father, from Strood, previously admitted himself to hospital with suicidal thoughts.

However, he got help and his children now help him focus on staying positive.

Last month, Mr Arthur organised a charity football match at Maidstone Football Club's The Gallagher Stadium in James Whatman Way.

His team of friends, kitted out by Strood company Premier Roofcare, took on the Arsenal Charity Team.

All proceeds from the match went to mental health charity Mind.

1980s footballer Chris Whyte leads out the Arsenal team at the Charity Football Match at the Gallagher Stadium Maidstone. Picture: Sean Aidan15399209)
1980s footballer Chris Whyte leads out the Arsenal team at the Charity Football Match at the Gallagher Stadium Maidstone. Picture: Sean Aidan15399209)

In a bid to raise more awareness, and break down any stigma, Daniel told us his story in his own words.

He said:"When I was growing up I always knew I was different to the other boys.

"I always knew there wasn't something quite right but could never put my finger on it until I reached adulthood.

"I was always over-thinking and would worry too much. I would never be the first to do something stupid, I always looked at the dangers and all the outcomes of what could happen, always panicking.

"Little did I know that this would become a big part of my life as I was growing older and get worse.

Luke Buckingham (14) scores for Medway United, a team made up of Daniel Arthur's friends. Picture: Sean Aidan (15399191)
Luke Buckingham (14) scores for Medway United, a team made up of Daniel Arthur's friends. Picture: Sean Aidan (15399191)

"It is really hard to reach out to people especially when you don't know what's going on in your own head, especially being a male.

"You think your friends are going to take the mick or just tell you to man up.

"This year I had a full-on breakdown and admitted myself to hospital.

"I have had suicidal thoughts for years now, nothing strong to start off with but I started to justify my thoughts.

"I had a breakdown and was at my lowest point, so I checked myself into hospital.

Crowds arrived to support Daniel Arthur and mental health charity Mind. Picture: Sean Aidan(15399164)
Crowds arrived to support Daniel Arthur and mental health charity Mind. Picture: Sean Aidan(15399164)

"Getting my diagnosis from Canada House was like a closure for me. All I ever wanted was to be told what is wrong with me and have something to work with.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm far from fixed and struggle from day to day.

"Some days you just want to cry and lie in bed all day; some days I'm full of energy, so much energy, but I just don't know what to do.

"Some days you're just on the level playing field. It really is a up and down rollercoaster of a ride.

"I chose not to take medication because I go to the gym, keep my mind busy and I focus on my kids.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm far from fixed and struggle from day to day."

"It's a shame there's so many people out who suffer from mental health problems but are too afraid or ashamed to speak out until it's too late.

"When I started telling friends and family it made it a hell of a lot easier that people knew what I was going through.

"Some friends would help, other friends wouldn't and I don't blame them. I don't think they really understand or know how to cope with it themselves.

"My partner's been great throughout. Even though she truly doesn't understand, she knows the ticks or when I'm having a bad day now - that's the main thing.

Luke Buckingham (14) scores for Medway at the charity football match.Picture: Sean Aidan (15399197)
Luke Buckingham (14) scores for Medway at the charity football match.Picture: Sean Aidan (15399197)

"The message really does need to get out there for people, especially males.

"I'm hoping this message and event will spread the word. No one should suffer in silence."

KentOnline is publishing a series of articles for National Suicide Prevention Day:

If you want to talk to someone, you can find out more at mind.org.uk. You can also visit the Samaritans website at samaritans.org, or call 116 123 free, any time.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone


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