Back from the brink: Haywards Heath man shares his mental health story

A Haywards Heath man has shared his mental health story in hopes of inspiring others.

Dan Evans, 30, of Victoria Road, Haywards Heath, has suffered with anxiety and mental health problems for several years.

Dan Evans at The Dolphin gym in Haywards Heath. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

Dan Evans at The Dolphin gym in Haywards Heath. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

At his lowest point he said he had no motivation to live a normal day-to-day life and found it difficult to be happy.

However, the 30-year-old has found a way of managing his mental struggles and he now hopes to inspire others.

He said: “I’ve been suffering from mental health for several years, I’ve been at the lowest anyone could get to in their life.

“Back in the summer last year I was given a referral by the doctor to start the gym at The Dolphin in Haywards Heath, two reasons, my mental health and my weight that I had put on due to my bad spells.

Dan Evans. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

Dan Evans. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

“The gym has been a massive success and it’s massively helped my mental health and my body in general.

“I’ve lost weight and feel like I’m now starting to move in the right direction. I’ve even managed to get three of my friends to join me.

“Basically the short of it is that I feel it’s a good advert for anyone with mental health and especially younger people.

“I’ve managed to do it and I would like to inspire others to do it too, it really gives you a buzz and helps relax the mind plus it’s a real confidence builder.”

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Dan created a Facebook page dedicated to his progress and story – as well as to inspire others with mental health problems, who may need motivation or are just interested in fitness. The page had 233 likes in the first two weeks of being published.

He said: “My mental health has improved massively, even though I still get bad days, I am fitter, stronger and I feel I am on the next level and away from the dark places.

“I have started boxing too now which is great fun and I would recommend it to anybody.

"Exercise and fitness really helps the mind, when I’m at the gym I completely forget all my anxieties and worries, I feel really confident in that environment.”

When Dan joined the gym, Mike Adcock – one of the GP referral team – kept an eye on him. He was also put on the correct gym programme by Mike and was set fitness targets to reach.

To check out Dan’s ‘My Mental Health Fitness’ Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/mentalhealthfitness89.