In the wake of the recent news that Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has been battling depression, fans around the world have expressed shock and sadness over the situation. As a result, it serves as a reminder that footballers - and indeed all of us - can be susceptible to mental health problems, regardless of how famous or successful they are.
Having made his Premier League debut in the 2014/15 season, Jesse Lingard has established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League, making over 200 appearances for the club and scoring 45 goals in all competitions since his Premier League debut.
He is also known for his flair and trickery on the pitch, as well as his off-field activities including his JLINGZ fashion brand.
However, Lingard has admitted that his most recent season has been "the toughest of his career" due to personal struggles.
Having been sent on loan to West Ham United in January, Lingard has been reflecting on the mental turmoil he was going through at the time in which he was sent on loan. He has since spoken out about his battle with depression, saying: "I had a lot of time to think and reflect, and I realised I was in a dark place.
I was in a place I didn’t want to be in – I was down and it was difficult to get out of." In many cases, the mental health of footballers is an often overlooked topic, but it serves as a reminder for all of us to take mental health seriously and to take proper care of it.
Lingard's story is an encouraging one; by speaking out, he has no doubt helped many other people going through similar experiences. Jesse Lingard's story is a reminder that everyone's mental health is important, no matter how successful we are. We should all remember that it's ok not to be ok, and more importantly, it's ok to ask for help.