BRISBANE star Dayne Beams has revealed the moment he broke down in a hotel room prior to his 150th game earlier this season, deciding to pull out of the match at the last moment because he was an "emotional wreck".
The official reason the Lions gave for Beams' late withdrawal from the round three game against Port Adelaide was that he was ill.
But the former Lions captain said there was another reason as to why he missed the match against the Power and said the events that led up to that were the catalyst for him to seek professional help assist him with his mental health.
"No one actually knows this but I was out that day sick but I wasn't really sick … I ended up having a bit of a breakdown in my room," Beams said as part of an AFL Players' Association campaign to raise awareness of mental health.
"I had a buildup of emotion, I had my 150th, (it was) the night before and then just thinking about Dad … I just didn't feel like playing football.
"I was an emotional wreck that morning of the game. I called David Noble (Lions football manager) and he came into my room and he put his arm around me and he said, 'What are you thinking of doing?' I just said, 'I don't think I should really be playing footy today'. I'd be lying if I said I was 100 per cent.
"Physically I was OK, but mentally I was just nowhere."
Beams, who revealed he had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder earlier in life, lost his father Phillip in March after a prolonged battle with bowel cancer.
"That was the point where I started talking to the club a bit more seriously about getting some help first of all and work out a plan what my day to day and weeks look like moving forward," Beams said.
"It was more of a sadness thing and now that I think about it, I was grieving."
He then decided to step down as Lions captain in May.
Beams, Carlton's Matthew Lobbe, Collingwood's Taylor Adams and Fremantle's Connor Blakely have all spoken out about their experiences with the AFLPA bidding to reduce the stigma and increase mental health awareness across the AFL industry and wider community.
Lobbe details his brother Tom being diagnosed with schizophrenia; Adams reveals his feeling of isolation in his final year at Greater Western Sydney and the need to return to Victoria and Blakely speaks about the challenges players face with social media.
The AFLPA will look to include off-field courage when presenting the prestigious AFL Players' Most Courageous Award, while the players have donated $60,000 to the Movember Foundation through the AFL Players' Care program.