FORMER Billericay Town midfielder Charlie Lee experienced many highs and lows during his long career.

But Lee’s toughest time came during his spell with Yeovil Town.

In March 2021, Lee’s Glovers’ captain Lee Collins tragically committed suicide.

And his death hit Lee and his Yeovil team-mates extremely hard.

“It was a surreal time of my life and it was the same for everyone around the club,” said Lee.

“People just don’t realise how much effect they have on other people’s lives and that’s what you have to try and help people with.

“People who are struggling don’t see that but there are always so many people who want you to get better.

“It was a really, really tough time for everyone and one I’ll never forget.

“It’s something me, the players and everyone who was at the club learnt so much from but it was just terrible.”

Lee left Yeovil last summer but will forever continue to encourage those struggling with mental health issues to seek help.

“We’ve come a long way with mental health but we’ve still got so much more to do,” said the ex midfielder.

“It’s also about recognising just how much talking to someone helps.

“If you’ve never suffered with mental health issues, which I haven’t, it’s hard to put yourself in someone’s shoes.

“But reaching out can really help someone who is struggling and I think it’s important to know that.”

Sadly, statistics surrounding men’s mental health remain startling high and those struggling can often be reluctant to admit it.

“That’s common in football but in every day life too,” said Lee.

“We’re all programmed that if we’ve got a physical problem or get injured we report it and get help.

“But it needs to be exactly the same with your mind and brain.

“If you’re not OK then it’s OK to ask for help.

“There are so many good people out there that can help you now and I hope the game can really get that message across."

Yeovil took on Southend United on Tuesday night in a 'Match for Mind' designed to raise awareness of mental health issues.

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