Andy has had mental health problems since 2002, arising from his problems with his previous job.
“I worked at a golf course, and it was my life, but I got pulled further and further down and couldn’t get out of it. I had counselling at the time which didn’t help at that point. A lot of people didn’t know – as with depression it’s the inner not the outer.
“I’ve had it for a long time – it’s recently hit home again. I’m now working somewhere else and I broke down at work. I sought advice from my GP – I’ve been on anti-depressants for a year - and when we talked again and she said you need to seek professional advice.
“I’m now seeing someone independently and it’s helped. For me it was better than speaking to friends and family – someone completely neutral with a different perspective and guidance. I’ve come out of it, and at the moment I feel completely fine and it’s different.
“The advice I’ve been given is to let things go. I have routines when I get home and have a list of things I do to make life as easy as possible, but some of the advice I’ve had is to think about myself for a minute, have a cup of tea – check the news and if there’s something to do, then do it. So, it relieves that pressure of being constantly on the go. It does work, and I’ve spoken to my wife about the situation and we’ve used the term ‘let it go’ quite a bit in our lives. It does pay off and I’m more relaxed and positive at work.
“Sometimes you have to hit the low spots to get out of it. Running is key for me – it gets me out and gets my head in the open air. Running is a saviour to me – it gives me that incentive to go out rather than sitting and moping.
“I think a lot of men bottle it up – I did. A lot of men will hide it – particularly when they’re in a pressured position.
“If men are feeling low and have issues they should talk to someone and explain what is going on in their head so they’re in the picture, or go and see their GP. Mental health is so important, you’ve got to get it out there.”