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Tim Membrey's tribute to wife in brave revelation about mental health struggles

The AFL player has spoken for the first time about the situation.

Tim Membrey has spoken out for the first time about his battle with mental health issues, revealing how he put on a mask and resisted help from his wife for far too long. The AFL player sparked concerns last year when he was a late withdrawal on the day of St Kilda's clash with GWS in the first week of the finals.

Membrey's withdrawal was put down to 'personal reasons' at the time, but the 29-year revealed for the first time on Thursday that he's been struggling with mental health. He didn't delve into the specifics of why he didn't play against GWS, but revealed how he hid his struggled from teammates and ignored pleas from wife Emily to seek help.

Tim Membrey, pictured here with wife Emily and their two daughters.
Tim Membrey with wife Emily and their two daughters. Image: Tim Membrey/Instagram

The 160-game player has since spent time prioritising his mental health, and spoke out about his struggle in a video posted to the St Kilda website on Thursday. "Last year, obviously, didn't end the way I wanted it to end," Membrey said.

"Looking back on it now, it's something that I had been probably dealing with for a long time, and putting a mask on at times as well. I didn't know how to deal with what I was going through and who to speak to, who to trust.

"My wife certainly knew what was going on, and she was pushing me to get help, but at the same time, you know, push as hard as you want, but I just didn't really know what to do. I didn't know how to get help or whatever, so I had to get on top of it pretty quickly and yeah, thank God I did."

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Tim Membrey's emotional tribute to wife and daughters

Membrey paid tribute to wife Emily, expressing his gratitude for the support of his family - Emily and the couple's two daughters Wren and Beau - as well as his teammates and coaches. "Probably the toughest thing when I look back on the whole experience is with the girls going through it all," Membrey said.

"You get yourself in a headspace and you're not really thinking at times. Emily has been a great support my whole life, really. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her. She's just unbelievable."

Tim Membrey in action for St Kilda.
Tim Membrey in action for St Kilda in the AFL pre-season. (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Membrey said he is now "coming out the other side" of his battle and "in a really good headspace" as he prepares for St Kilda's round-one clash with Geelong on March 16. He also encouraged others to get help if they are struggling.

"My biggest thing now is, 'Just take the mask off and just be who you want to be'," he said. "People are going to judge you, people are going to say things about you or whatever.

"But the happiest you'll ever be is when you can just be happy in your own skin, be proud of what you've done (and) be proud of what you've been through. And if you're in a good headspace, you're happy, you've got people around you that you love and are close to ... for me, now, that's really all that matters."

Readers seeking support and information can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

with AAP

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