Lincoln City's Nathan Arnold hosts mental health event

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Media captionLincoln City's Nathan Arnold discusses mental health

Lincoln City footballer Nathan Arnold is hosting an "Anxiety Awareness" evening at the club's Sincil Bank stadium.

The 29-year-old has spoken out about his battle with anxiety and urged others suffering with mental health issues to seek help.

He said he has battled the problem since his mother died in 2015 and now wants to share his experiences.

"If I can help just one person it will make the world a better place."

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Arnold was part of the Lincoln City side that reached last season's FA Cup quarter-final and were crowned National League champions, securing promotion to League Two as a result.

Off the pitch, however, he was struggling to cope with anxiety and panic attacks.

'Be a lad'

"Some people think footballers are robots who do not feel the same things as other human beings," he said.

"You feel almost like you are the only one going through it and I felt like that last season.

"I would go in to training everyday and have to put a smile on my face, be a lad, but I would go home and have these battles that I was suffering with."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Arnold scored the winning goal against Championship side Ipswich Town in the Third Round of the FA Cup

Arnold is now having counselling and learning neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques in order to control his anxiety.

He said he hoped the event would help encourage others to open up about their issues.

"I spoke openly about my anxiety and since then people have gravitated towards me.

"People have come out of the woodwork and I think it's fantastic.

"I've been put in touch with a guy who has really helped me and I want to pass that information on."

Mike Martin, from mental health support network Shine, welcomed Arnold's efforts to raise the profile of mental health.

"Having people in the public eye talking about their issues definitely encourages people to tell somebody what they are going through themselves," he said.

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