MOSES Odubajo has spoken about the importance of mental health to mark World Mental Health Day (Sunday 10th October).
The QPR defender experienced tragic and sudden loss when he was just 12 years old when his mother passed away.
Moses was left to fend for himself alongside his two older brothers. His mental wellbeing was challenged, but it wasn’t until years later that he recognised the true impact it had on him.
Only by talking did he come to understand what he had been through and how it had affected him.
As part of World Mental Health Day, people are being asked to ‘Do One Thing’ as an act of kindness to someone deserving within their local communities, with Mind campaigning that if we all do one thing to fight for mental health, we can change everything.
Now someone who champions mental health awareness, Moses took time out from training this week to ‘Do One Thing’ by chatting with QPR supporter Toby West, which you can see above.
Toby, 22, has had mental health challenges since he was 11 when his younger brother passed away.
Moses, 28, said: “It was great talking with Toby. As we spoke, I got shivers because some of the things he said really resonated with me.
“Toby suffered a lot of trauma growing up, similar to myself. That trauma has played a big part in my life and moulded me into who I am today.
“I really benefitted from our chat and I hope Toby did too.”
Discussing his own challenges, Moses explained: “Men don’t really like to open up about certain situations so me and my brothers didn’t really deal with the elephant in the room.
“We just got on with it. We didn’t talk about our emotions because, at the time, we didn’t think it would change anything.
“While it couldn’t bring our mum back, what we didn’t know is that by talking, it would have helped us feel a lot better in ourselves.”
Moses hopes being more honest about his own difficulties will encourage others to be more aware of their mental health.
“If more and more of us can open up, the next generation will see it as normal to talk about their feelings and emotions,” he said.
“What we do now and how we act could really help the next generation.”
Following their chat, Toby said: “I enjoyed talking to Moses and hearing about his experiences.
“I think it’s important to remember that footballers are people too and everyone has the chance to get themselves help.
“I hope our call inspires people to get the help they need.”
To find out more about World Mental Health Day visit mind.org.uk/EFL