FORMER NorthMelbourne and Sydney Swans midfielder and depression sufferer Wayne Schwass hascommended Harry O'Brien for going public with his latest revelations.
Schwass, whorevealed his battles with mental illness after his 282- game career, said hewished he had spoken about his troubles in a public domain like the Collingwoodstar.
Returning totraining on Tuesday after spending time away to deal with personal 'demons', O'Brienspoke candidly about his mental state.
Issues he said hewas facing included "a long and very complicated history of sexual abuse",suicide, depression plus matters he chose not to disclose.
Schwass said hewanted his time back again.
"If I lookat my own experience, I never felt comfortable with it because I tried to hideit," Schwass told Crocmedia's Sportsday.
"Thedifference here is Harry's gone very public with it whilst he's playing.
"If I had mytime again that's the first thing I would've done.
"I would'vetold those people I needed to tell so I can actually deal with what I needed todo.
"He shouldbe commended, Harry. He's absolutely right, footy is second at the moment."
Schwass said O'Brienshould take as long as he needed before returning to the football field, with supportfrom various professionals.
"Maybe Harrydoesn't have those ongoing discussions with (coach) Nathan (Buckley) to beginwith, maybe he has that with the club doctor, maybe he has that with somebodyelse … somebody who he feels he has a trustworthy relationship with.
"I'm notsuggesting that he doesn't have that with Nathan, but Nathan's priority is tocoach a football group.
"You'vereally got to let the reins go and trust the judgment of the people that areprofessionally trained in this area.
"The clubdoctors, if they've got a club psychiatrist, anybody else that forms themedical team that will be surrounding Harry right now, they're the gatekeepers,and the coach needs to rely on the information he gets."
Schwass pleadedwith the football community to accede to O'Brien's wish and give him space toconfront his issues.
"The fact that it'snow out in the public domain … hopefully as an industry we can respect hissituation and give him some room for him to go and do what he needs to do."