A BRAVE teacher has opened his heart about his tough mental health battle in a bid to help others struggling to cope.

Callum McFadden, who works at Lady Alice Primary, had his dream job, a loving network of family and friends and enjoyed his passion for football in his spare time.

Yet his life was turned upside down in September last year when crippling anxiety attacks and a low mood left him feeling lost.

The 24-year-old has decided to share his experience to help other people and the Tele is highlighting his story during Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday.

Callum, of Buchanan Street, said: "I am now seven months on from what I can safely was the toughest battle of my life and can honestly say that seeking support was best thing I've ever done.

"I am now in a place of happiness and joy.

"I have a range of support strategies to help me out with my anxiety and I am now in full control of it and backed up with incredible support.

"Without those closest to me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today - they really are the best bunch of people I could ask for in my life."

Callum says that up until last year, his mental health wasn't something that he had to think about.

He added: "I’ve had my challenges, my parents split when I was young, I lost my dad at 14, lost a very close family member to leukaemia at 15 and a very close relative of my best friend at 16.

"These were all deeply upsetting and unsettling moments in my life but although they were moments that I did at times struggle with and cry a lot over, I still felt in control."

But in September last year, Callum said his world was turned upside down.

He said: "I began to feel uneasy, horrifically unsettled and most worryingly unlike me.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I love my family, my girlfriend, my friends, teaching and the sport that I admit am I obsessed with, football, with all of my heart.

"For that two month spell last year, I lost all of my sense of happiness, determination and sense of perspective on the world around me and myself.

"I became withdrawn, quiet and felt like I was watching life from afar.

"I didn’t have any real passion towards anything that I love – for me that was the scariest feeling, as I didn’t know what was causing it.

"Never did I think I would have to seek advice or help as I’ve always tried to ‘man up’, ‘get on with it’ and ‘keep problems to yourself’, like many of us do."

But Callum said he reached a point where he knew he needed help.

He said: "It was a step that I was incredibly worried about as I was scared those close to me would think I was ‘mental’ considering that I have absolutely everything my life that I need to be very happy – an incredible family, the absolute best friend and girlfriend anyone could ask for and an amazing group of pals behind me.

"I told my two closest confidants, my mum and my girlfriend, that I was struggling to cope and they helped me in seeking some support and encouraged me every step of the way.

"Upon seeking support, I was told that I suffer from anxiety and that I would need support to help me control my anxiety rather than the let the anxiety control me."

Callum says seeking help was the best thing that he's ever done.

He added: "I find that keeping busy helps.

"Also, if I feel anxious then I take a step back and I ask myself, is this something I need to worry about, is there another way to deal with this and is the way I'm thinking logical?"

Callum's battle with his mental health inspired him to start a podcast - Football CFB - which has since become a huge success.

He said the support that he has received from his football network since speaking out about his mental health struggle has been 'incredible'.

Callum also received support from Back Onside - a Scottish charity supporting those affected by mental health and challenging life circumstances - and he has joined its ranks.

He said: "I want to help them promote positive mental health and that’s why when I was asked to become an ambassador I immediately agreed.

"The figures of suicide in young males is far too high and deeply concerning."

Callum says that if he can help one person who is struggling then speaking out has been worth it.

He said: "Having struggled myself with mental health and sharing potentially things in common with young males struggling, I want to play a part if I possibly can to help others out there struggling.

"My email is always open to those struggling and I will do my upmost to promote positive mental health and help those in need."

Anyone who would like to contact Callum can do so via email at footballcfb@gmail.com