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Ben Chilwell: ‘Talk to someone’ if you’re struggling with mental health



Ben Chilwell says talking about his mental health has “helped a lot” after he struggled with low confidence during the first lockdown.

Chilwell posted about his struggles on social media and said exercise helped him through a difficult period.

The England left-back, 23, moved to Chelsea from Leicester in the summer transfer window.

“I didn’t talk to anyone and just kept it to myself for a few months,” he told BBC Football Focus.

Chilwell, who missed the end of the 2019-20 campaign with Leicester because of a heel injury, added: “Last season I struggled with confidence and the fact that I’ve come out and spoken about it might help others to talk to people and tell people about their problems.

“Mental health is a massive thing at the moment, particularly with this second lockdown. There’s someone at the club who talks to a lot of the players.

“And I just thought well a lot of the boys are talking to him, maybe I should just go and have a chat with him and see what it’s about, and it helped me a lot.”

Chilwell has advised anyone struggling with mental health to reach out to someone.

“If you are struggling and you feel like you’re by yourself then talk to someone, whether that’s a friend, a family member or something confidential like on a helpline, then just do it,” he said.

The defender has made four appearances for Chelsea so far and scored on his debut against Crystal Palace.

“I think it’s difficult when you come into a football training ground because you’re all fighting for 11 shirts when there’s 25-30 of you, so there is that competitive element, but we’re all humans and there are going to be people who are struggling,” he said.

Chilwell moved in with his mum during the first lockdown to avoid being on his own.

“Being able to spend all that time together was nice and it’s something we haven’t been able to do for years,” he said.

“But the fact that you’re not able to see your team-mates for what ended up being a few months was difficult because when you’re used to spending day in day out with them, you take it for granted seeing them every day.”

Unlike the first lockdown, elite football will continue during the second one, which is due to run until 2 December.

“Thankfully football can go ahead and I hope that can be something that the fans and people at home can continue to watch and hopefully it can help them get through it,” said Chilwell.

You can watch the full interview with Ben Chilwell on Football Focus at 12:00 GMT on Saturday, 7 November.