Tributes have been pouring in from friends and fans up and down the country, with former teammates Alan Shearer, Ryans Giggs and Robbie Savage, just a few of the big football names to speak up about the loss of their friend and colleague.
Current Strictly Come Dancing contestant and former Wales teammate, Robbie Savage took to Twitter yesterday upon hearing the news: “The world has lost a great man in Gary speed I’m devastated spoke to him yesterday morning why ! Why. Why !! I’ll miss him so much x”.
Savage went on to say how Speed had been to watch Strictly Come Dancing just a few weeks before his death and that he had appeared to have had a good time with his family. “he loved life he loved his family! Devastated”, said Savage.
Speeds wife reportedly found his body at their home in the early hours of Sunday morning. A statement has been issued to say that the circumstances surrounding his death were not suspicious and a coroner is now in the process of conducting the report.
Speed took over as Wale’s manager in December 2010, despite having very little managerial experience under his belt. However, the Welsh team have made some impressive progressions under his leadership and they are all extremely shocked and saddened by his death.
Speaking about the tragic death of Speed, Chief Executive of leading mental health charity Mind, Paul Farmer, made the following comments:
“The apparent suicide of Gary Speed is a tragic and shocking event. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this very difficult time.
The high-pressure environment of top-level sport can cause huge levels of stress and, just because someone appears to be able to carry on their usual daily life, it does not mean that they are not struggling in private.
Gary Speed is not the first footballer to experience mental distress and nor, sadly, will he be the last. The suicide of German goalkeeper Robert Enke in 2009 shows that sportsmen, like anyone else, are not immune from the devastating effects of mental health problems.”
Farmer went on to discuss how the ‘macho’ culture of football has resulted in very few professionals feeling comfortable enough to come forward and talk openly about their mental health problems – but this is the action needed in order to increase understanding and awareness.
“It is only by speaking out about mental health, whether through the media or privately, that we can increase understanding and awareness of these issues, and encourage people to be able to seek the help that they need.” He said.
If you believe that either yourself or someone you know may be suffering from a mental health problem then visit your GP who will be able to discuss with you in confidence, ways in which you could tackle the problem and move forward.
Many individuals who do suffer from a mental health problem are often referred on for counselling or psychotherapy – talk therapies which both help the sufferer to understand and explore the feelings they are experiencing.
If you would like more information about the various areas in which counselling may be able to help, please visit our Types of Distress page to explore our various fact-sheets. Alternatively, if you would like to contact a counsellor in confidence, visit our homepage and use the search tool to locate a professional in your local area.