Academy coach, Jason Brown, has revealed the heartbreaking extent of his depression.

The former Wales international retired from playing football in 2015 and has now taken up coaching, first at Gillingham and now Arsenal, to try and fill the void that not playing has created in his life.

The ex-goalkeeper hopes that by talking about his mental health issues, he can help shed light and raise awareness on the issue of mental illness.

“This (coaching) is my distraction,” Brown told The Associated Press. “I honestly feel if I didn’t have this distraction (at Arsenal) I might not be having this conversation with you right now.

“As silly and naive as it might sound you never think there is going to be an end. You never think when you retire what it is going to be like.”

He continued, “I suffer from depression and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I’ll never be cured.

“That probably the lowest I was … the first real time that I made an attempt to actually, where I considered just killing myself,” Brown said. “I was so down. I was driving along the M1 and I put my foot down and I didn’t take my foot off. And I then I realized that it’s not only me I that I am going to be hurting but possibly others. That was a real low, low day my life.”

Jason Brown is incredibly brave to speak so candidly about his struggles with an illness that claims the lives of 6,188 lives in the UK alone, 75% of which are males.

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Even more shockingly is the fact that the most common cause of death for men between the ages of 20 and 49 is suicide.

If feel you may be struggling with depression or any other mental illness, reach out and speak to someone or, if you’re feeling suicidal, you can call Samaritans 24 hours a day on 116 123.

We wish Jason all the best.