Monday, August 03, 2020

If you’re depressed, talk to someone

Rugby pundit and businessman Brent Pope, recently spoke candidly with RTÉ’s Brendan O’Connor about his battle with depression and mental health issues

I WAS moved by Brendan O’Connor’s recent interview with Brent Pope on RTÉ Radio 1.

Brent spoke of his reflective time during the lockdown. He thought of his mother in New Zealand, who had gone into a home. He thought of his 30 years in Ireland away from home and family. He realised what he had missed.

He spoke of his father. He reminisced on his visits home. Holiday visits are less real – he missed the humdrum of ordinary family life. He spoke of his father’s funeral. He spoke of not having a wife and not giving his family children. He recalled why he left New Zealand.

He was a well-known rugby player and a successful coach, but he was paralysed by self-doubt, shyness, a lack of confidence and mental health problems … a high achiever, who couldn’t admit to such problems in a macho culture.

He found a niche for himself in Ireland as a rugby pundit and as a businessman. He now spends his time talking to men and helping them to speak about their inner stories.

 

Read Fr Paddy’s column in full in the Laois Nationalist on sale tomorrow

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