Aaron Lennon situation saddens former team-mate and PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 04/05/17 2:12pm
Clarke Carlisle is not surprised by the mental health problems suffered by former Leeds team-mate Aaron Lennon.
And Carlisle, who continues to battle mental health issues himself, and attempted suicide in 2014, insists the illness can affect anyone, irrespective of who they are or what they do.
"People are still surprised because they believe to have a mental health illness it needs to be justified by circumstance," he told Liverpool's Radio City Talk.
"Mental health issues are as indiscriminate as any other illness.
"In Aaron's case, I am saddened as he is a former colleague and a friend of mine but I am not shocked at all because statistics tell me he is in the prime bracket to be affected by this, not only by age but also by social demographic: a young, black man in the modern era is highly susceptible to certain mental health issues.
"I know Everton are one of the leading clubs when it comes to care and welfare in the community and their club so I have no doubt whatsoever Aaron and his family will get the full support of the club."
Ex-QPR and Bradford defender Carlisle is a former chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA). The organisation's chief executive, Gordon Taylor, says help and advisory services offered by the PFA are frequently used by members of the players' union.
"We have a 24-hour helpline that is being increasingly used," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "It is strictly confidential and is manned by trained counsellors throughout the country.
"Issues of welfare are not just related to sportsmen and women and this is a problem which has been more and more illuminated as we have seen with statements such as the one Prince Harry has come out with [recently].
"Mental health is something that can affect a very significant number of the population for different reasons and of course sport is not immune from that."