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Simon Dunn overwhelmed by support for taking mental health break

Simon Dunn Slough Town

Slough Town’s Simon Dunn has been “completely overwhelmed” by messages of support since announcing he was taking a break from the game to overcome mental health issues.

The 26-year-old former Basingstoke player, pictured, took to Twitter on Wednesday night to thank fans within hours of telling them about his “difficult” decision, and one he’s only taken because his ability to play is being impacted and he needs to concentrate on his health.

Using his account @SimonDDunn, the midfielder posted: “Completely overwhelmed by people’s messages of support on this. As I say in my statement I really hope to open up in more detail on these issues in the coming weeks. Thank you everyone.”

In his original statement, released via the club’s website only hours earlier, he also thanked the Rebels for providing the supportive and understanding environment that had given him the strength to seek support.

Dunn, who switched from Basingstoke in July 2016, told fans: “After a lot of thinking I have come to the difficult decision to step away from football for a while.

“I am currently suffering from certain mental health issues which are now having an impact on me where I feel I can no longer carry on playing in this current state of mind.

“I would really like to talk a lot more openly about these issues in the near future, however for now I need to concentrate on getting myself right. With the right help and support, I hope to be back playing at a level as soon as possible.

“I do not want my career to finish in this way and I would love to be back playing with freedom, enjoyment and the ability to express myself as soon as possible.

“I’d like to thank the management team at Slough for being so understanding. They are first and foremost decent human beings, which is a big part of the reason I felt I could come forward with my issues.”

He added: “I would also like to thank my teammates who have been so very encouraging and supportive.”

Joint managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood offered their full support to Dunn in the statement as the Rebels urged anyone in a similar situation to contact mental health charity Mind, their GPs or start by finding out more about the NHS’s Every Mind Matters campaign.

The duo wrote: “We as a club are fully behind Dunny and will give him any support he needs. It is a very difficult thing to admit and he has shown great strength in coming out and sharing his issues and concerns with us.

“Dunny is a fantastic person, and has been a pleasure to manage, however hopefully he feels that he is able to return to the game at some point in the not too distant future.”

Image courtesy of Slough Town/Philip Benton

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