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From the editor's desk 29 September

The War Cry comments on depression

Clinical depression affects people in all walks of life and of all ages

PROFESSIONAL footballer Marvin Sordell said earlier this month that all league clubs should employ full-time counsellors. Appearing on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, the Burton Albion striker spoke about his battle with depression and how a feeling of being ‘dead inside’ led him to attempt to take his life five years ago.

Speaking candidly about his experiences as a footballer, he said: ‘One of the hardest things is being able to differentiate between a player being down because they are not playing, as opposed to someone actually suffering from depression.’

For the unqualified observer, it is difficult to know whether any person is ‘down’ or clinically depressed, particularly as the illness affects people in all walks of life and of all ages.

Rachael Newham was only six years old when she had her first suicidal thought. By the time she was 18, she had tried to take her life on two occasions. But, as she describes in this week’s War Cry, the attempts only added to her distress.

‘Taking an overdose made everything ten times worse,’ she says. ‘I knew I’d hurt the people around me. If it was possible, I felt even more worthless than before.’

In her interview, Rachael explains how not feeling ‘good enough’ was a major factor in compounding her depression, describing it as ‘an intense grief’ from which she could not escape.

It is not only younger people who can be overcome by feelings of worthlessness. Monday (1 October) is International Day of Older Persons, promoting older people’s worth, rights and dignity.

It doesn’t matter who we are, our age, gender, physical ability or any other factor that makes us stand out from ‘the rest’ does not detract from our worth and value as human beings.

And if we need professional help to realise that, then it is important that we can all access it.

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