Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin: "I have to dig deep within myself at times this season and have endured some of the most difficult times of my career and my life to date ... I advise you to talk, to a friend, family member or someone that will listen, talking saved my life"
Tuesday 24 May 2022 12:23, UK
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has revealed he struggled with his mental health this season and that "talking saved my life".
The Everton striker says he has "endured some of the most difficult times of [his] career and [his] life to date" and has urged anyone suffering with their own mental health "to talk, to a friend, family member or someone that will listen".
In a post on Instagram, Calvert-Lewin added: "One thing I learned this season is that everyone in whatever walk of life is fighting battles you know nothing about, and there is no shame in finding someone to talk to and being open and honest with yourself about how you really feel.
"To all the young kings suppressing emotion I advise you to talk, to a friend, family member or someone that will listen, talking saved my life. It will make you realise things are never as bad as they seem, and you'll discover that the paradox of true strength is being able to face your weaknesses."
Calvert-Lewin, 25, has struggled with injuries this season and made only 17 Premier League appearances for Everton - compared to more than 30 games in the previous four seasons.
The striker returned for Everton's relegation run-in and scored a vital winner in the 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace last week, which secured Frank Lampard's side's Premier League status.
Calvert-Lewin thanked the fans for their continued support throughout the season.
He said: "First of all thank you to you fans for sticking by us this season and for continuing to inspire us right until the last day of the season.
"The main goal became to stay in the premier league and I don't believe that would have happened without your unbelievable support.
"Finishing the season on a high meant everything to me, enjoy the break toffee fans you deserve it. May the pressure continue to be a privilege."
Calvert-Lewin is the latest footballer to talk about mental health. In March, Paul Pogba opened up about experiencing depression "several times" during his career and said it is difficult for footballers to speak out about their mental health struggles.
Last summer, Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings revealed he saw a psychologist during England's Euro 2020 campaign because his "mental health plummeted". In 2018, Danny Rose talked about his struggles before England travelled to Russia for the World Cup.
Earlier this month, Sam Allardyce also spoke about his battles after he was sacked as England manager and highlighted the problems that lower league bosses faced on a day-to-day basis.
If you are affected by issues related to mental wellbeing or want to talk, please contact the Samaritans on the free helpline 116 123, or visit the website.