RETIRED Collingwood midfielder Dayne Beams says his mental health is the best it has been in some years. 

Beams, 30, confirmed his retirement two weeks ago, but had sat out the 2020 season to focus on his mental health.

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"It was pretty evident to me at that stage that football was no longer a passion of mine, and was probably causing more hindrance to my mental health than perhaps it was back when I was playing in the early days," Beams told Trade Radio.

WATCH DAYNE BEAMS IN PART 1 OF LAST TIME I CRIED

An emotional Dayne Beams opens up in a special two-part series of Last Time I Cried, presented by AIA Vitality

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"It was a tough decision obviously, I'd come back to Collingwood from Brisbane on a four-year deal (at the end of 2018), there was a lot of mixed emotions in those decisions.

"There was a fair bit of guilt involved in not being able to fulfil that contract, but at the end of the day, my health had to come first, and I was much happier and much more stable outside of football."

Beams had originally moved to Brisbane to be closer to his father Philip, who died in February 2018 after a long battle with cancer.

"Probably since my dad passed away, I'm in the best (head)space I've been in since then. I run my own (art) business now and that keeps me really busy and occupied and it's what I draw my attention to outside my own family," Beams said.

Last Time I Cried

Last Time I Cried

"Footy was a big trigger for me. When my dad passed away, there was a lot of grief, there were a lot of different emotions that, as I've spoken about, I was masking with some pretty destructive behaviours.

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"Even going back to 2018, when I was at the Lions, pretty much every game was a struggle. In 2018, for about the first 16 rounds I was having mental breakdowns the day of the game. I'd go for a pre-game walk as part of my routine, and there were times my wife had to come and pick me up from the park because I'd just break down on those walks."

WATCH DAYNE BEAMS IN PART 2 OF LAST TIME I CRIED

An emotional Dayne Beams opens up in a special two-part series of Last Time I Cried, presented by AIA Vitality

Watch Now

Beams has previously admitted he battled with gambling and prescription painkillers, and is receiving support for his mental health by arrangements made through the club and the AFLPA,

His contract settlement – given there is two years still to run on the deal – is close to being finalised.

"It's not a common situation, so they've done the best they've been able to do, and vice versa in terms of communicating what I'm feeling," he said.

"At no stage has there ever been any angst or anything like that, it's always been pretty open, and we've been able to settle on something and we're in the final stages of ticking that off."

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