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Arsenal Women share during Mental Health Awareness Week

PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 May 2020

Arsenal and England's Jordan Nobbs (pic Danny Loo)

Arsenal and England's Jordan Nobbs (pic Danny Loo)

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Arsenal Women’s star Jordan Nobbs and club legend Kelly Smith took part in a virtual roundtable talk for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs and Kelly Smith at the 2018 London Football Awards at Battersea Evolution (pic Dominic Lipinski/PA)Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs and Kelly Smith at the 2018 London Football Awards at Battersea Evolution (pic Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Hosted by former Arsenal star Karen Carney they talked about their personal experiences in football, discussing how injury, criticism and bereavement impacted upon their mental health.

They also discussed how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting their mental health and the importance of conversation during the difficult times.

Nobbs said: “When it comes to football, the ACL injury is the one that plays a major part and the one you never want to hear that you’ve done.

“You have the bad news and mentally, I definitely went into an isolation period where you sit on the sofa and don’t move.

Kelly Smith, Arsenal and England Ladies footballer, proudly holds her MBE in the grounds of Windsor Castle, after it was presented to her by the Queen (pic John Stillwell/PA)Kelly Smith, Arsenal and England Ladies footballer, proudly holds her MBE in the grounds of Windsor Castle, after it was presented to her by the Queen (pic John Stillwell/PA)

“You get sick of speaking to people about it because naturally people want to care for you and know how you are.

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“I got sent God knows how many flowers to my apartment and you realise the support you have, but it was obviously one of the worst times of my career in a sense of you’re kind of depressed but you don’t want to talk about it because you don’t want to sound depressing.

“It’s hard to find that balance to know what’s best. Never take sport too seriously because it can go from high to low so quickly.

“The ACL can take you so low, you need that balance where you don’t end up too high or too low.”

Nobbs also spoke about how she endured a difficult time while in the process of moving from Sunderland to Arsenal at the same time as her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer

Smith, meanwhile, added: “As a footballer, I touched so many highs, but I never really knew how to deal with the lows emotionally.

“You can’t keep everything in like I did, you have to talk and open up and speak to people or not feel like you’re being a burden.”

The roundtable that is available to watch in full on the FA Player was held in conjunction with the season-long Heads Up campaign.

Spearheaded by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Heads Up is a partnership between Heads Together and The FA and harnesses the influence and popularity of football to change the conversation on mental health.


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