Posted: Tue 13th Oct 2015

Family of Gary Speed open counselling rooms to help people with mental health issues.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 13th, 2015

The family of former Wales football manager Gary Speed have opened counselling rooms to help people with mental health issues.

The Gary Speed Rooms are situated in London in the headquarters of suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console.

The 42-year-old from Deeside, who played for clubs including Leeds, Sheffield and Everton, was found dead at his home in November 2011.

Parents Carol and Roger Speed say they believe their son was battling depression, but that he felt he couldn’t talk about it.

Carol, who was at the launch with Gary’s father Roger and sister Lesley, said:

“If the Gary Speed Rooms help one person in mental health crisis, then that will be a success.

“It is a terrible thing to feel in trouble, and people need to know that they have somewhere to turn to.

“We haven’t got any answers about Gary’s death, and we probably never will, but as a family we know that Console are always there and only a phone call away.”

The rooms have been financed thanks to the generosity of sporting friends such as Michael Owen, Alan Shearer and Gordon Strachan, who took part in a series of charity golf days to honour his memory.

Carol added:

“People like Michael Owen have played in each one, and we also have had great support from the likes of Dennis Taylor and former Welsh manager Mike England.

“We feel that the golf days have been a fitting memorial to Gary, and we have also supported his interests in grassroots football and the Toby Henderson Trust for Autistic Children.”

Irish-based charity Console provides free counselling and support for those in suicidal crisis and to those bereaved through suicide.

The charity also trains professional sports teams through a programme that can save lives in the sporting and wider communities.

Chief executive Paul Kelly said the service was set up in the UK due to the absence of any comparable service.

He said:

“Following keynote speeches at Suicide Prevention and Bereavement seminars in the UK, Console was approached by individual representatives from the health services, the Metropolitan Police, church groups and voluntary agencies and asked to consider extending what was a unique service from Ireland to the UK.”

Console can be reached at any time on 0207 821 8865 or visit: www.consolecounselling.co.uk

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