In a career at the highest level of English football for almost 17 years, Burnley's Aaron Lennon experienced many highs and lows, but he found it increasingly difficult to manage the latter.
A few years ago, Lennon received treatment for a stress-related illness after suffering from depression and anxiety. The 33-year-old said it was through speaking about it to close friends and family that he was able to continue playing.
"I went through a really tough time for a while, which was obviously well publicised," Lennon says. "And that was with a lot of help from family and friends, people around me, getting me back to that level of enjoying not just football, but life really."
During the coronavirus pandemic, many people are struggling to find positive thoughts. But Lennon says acknowledging this state of mind and realising that having anxiety is a normal thing can be the first steps to speaking to someone about these feelings and towards a more positive frame of mind.
"A lot of people are scared now to maybe ask for help or going to speak to a therapist is maybe a sign or weakness, but it’s really not,” he says.
Ings and Lennon speak about speaking out
Lennon was speaking as part of the Premier League’s Heads Up campaign in February 2020, dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging conversation around mental health.