Within the dressing room environment players have learned to become good at talking, Potts says. “One of Dublin’s leading players Paul Flynn (an All-Star medalist) lost a friend to suicide. He is now very articulate on the subject and very forthcoming about identifying problems early, warning signs and emotional distress. What we’re trying to do is not wait for the tragedy to occur. We’re trying to break down the taboo and encourage the debate at a much younger age. Our players can be role models to reach out to young people.”
Despite the tragedies that continue to occur there has been progress Potts says, but he adds that when it comes to suicide and its surrounding issues Irish society is still only at first base. “There’s a huge job ahead internally and externally for us as an influential base in Irish society.”
Read more on mental health awareness here.