Football

Atlanta Falcons’ Hayden Hurst opens up on depression and his ‘second shot at life’

Hurst, 27, has long struggled with mental health issues

Hurst, 27, has long struggled with mental health issues which turned him towards drugs and alcohol as he tried to cope.

“I can’t really explain it,” Hurst said. “It’s hard to unless you go through it, but depression, you feel like nobody’s there, despite my family being so close. They’re willing to do whatever, but when you’re in that head space and you’re in that dark spot, you feel alone.

“You feel like nobody’s there, nobody cares. So I guess for me, in those years, that’s why I turned to drinking.”

In January 2016 Hurst tried to take his own life, and was taken to hospital where he made a full recovery.

“It was the best and worst thing that’s ever happened in my life,” Hurst says. “Because when I made that decision, when I was in that hospital room, kind of reflecting on everything I had done, I made a promise to myself. I was like, I’m not going to do this again.

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“For whatever reason, God looked down on me and gave me a second shot at this thing. And I made a promise, I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.”

You can find helpful tips on how to start a conversation or if you are worried about someone on Samaritans website.

You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year.

You can also contact Samaritans by emailing jo@samaritans.org. The average response time is 24 hours.

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