On Monday 1st May, alongside Nottingham Forest Football Club, we started our new mental health campaign, It’s Tricky Talk, to encourage fans to talk more openly about mental health problems and seek support after hearing the heart-breaking stories of Forest fans, Jonathan McCartney and William Garvey who sadly took their own lives.

Since the launch of the programme we have been amazed by the support of so many different people including Nottingham Forest Fan, Amber Edwards, who wanted to share her story to try and help others who might resonate with aspects of her life.

16-year-old Amber explained that her mum had said from a young age she had always been quite a nervous person. Growing up when a lot of kids would be playing together, she would shuffle along into a corner on her own, she used to hate noise and be quite anxious in loud environments. So, there would be times when she came to Forest games with her parents when she would just cry uncontrollably to the point where she just decided to stop going even though she really wanted to watch the games.

As she started to get older, Amber began to notice more and more worrying signs even though she did not recognise them as being related to mental health. She would all of a sudden feel very low for no reason, not want to talk to anyone and she would often feel very lonely even though she had a lot of family and friends around her.

Amber got to the age of 15 before she was finally referred to therapy after she hit a crisis point. This came about after a normal day of school but upon walking home, Amber became incredibly low and for reasons she could not explain just started crying and felt like she couldn’t go home. ‘I cried and cried and cried to the point where I didn’t know what to do anymore, luckily I rang my boyfriend who became so worried, informed the police.’ The police found Amber and she was detained under the mental health act as a danger to herself. Amber was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and in turn was referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) which she is still a part of to this day.

Amber went on to explain that ‘when you are young and affected by mental health it can be very hard speaking out, especially when there are a lot of people out there saying things like ‘you’re only young, you’ve got nothing to worry about’ and so on.’ And although she said, yes, it can be quite uncomfortable talking about it at first she was adamant in urging anyone to take that first step, saying that ‘just someone knowing and being aware helps so much, you don’t realise how much it does help until you do it.’

Amber now has a positive outlook about her mental health and does some public speaking, including assemblies at her school to try and help others that might be in a similar situation. ‘It can make people feel like it’s not so bad and that they aren’t alone.’ Since she started doing this, she has had people seeking support which she says is amazing and it’s what she hopes will happen when other people hear her story.

To find out more about ‘It’s Tricky To Talk’ click here.