A FORMER Leigh Centurion rugby league player has founded a mental health app after battling with his own demons since a career-ending neck injury.

Jamie Acton, a former prop forward for Leigh and academy graduate of Wigan Warriors, was diagnosed with ADHD in his youth and has often struggled with mental health problems, yet used sport and rugby league as a way to cope with this and "feel normal."

He spent five seasons at Leigh between 2014-18 and scored 17 tries in 95 appearances for the club, yet was forced to retire at the age of 27 after suffering a career-ending neck injury.

This sent Jamie into a downward spiral wheree he "lost [his] identity, sense of purpose and the one thing that [he] used to help with his mental health."

Leigh Journal: Jamie Acton has now founded a mental health app, offers PT sessions in gyms and has started cage fightingJamie Acton has now founded a mental health app, offers PT sessions in gyms and has started cage fighting

Jamie said: "Taking rugby away from me was just left me in chaos. There was no way for me to get rid of my demons and I felt there was nothing that anybody could do to help.

"There wasn't a lot of support from the players and staff I had worked with after my injury and I felt like I didn't deserve to be here anymore."

Open about his struggles, Jamie, 29, explained that he felt suicidal for a significant period of time and it was only a small, yet strong support network which dragged him out of this.

As his mental health began to improve, the ex-Centurion explained he had a "lightbulb moment" in realising how many men in sport, armed forces and other male-dominated circles must similarly struggle.

His answer to this is the 'Banish' app, which is described as a "pocket PT" which promotes the value of exercise on your wellbeing and a way to banish your own demons.

Alongside other solutions and coping mechanisms, the app can be used as an everyday tool which provides personal training sessions, positive messaging and a 'mood tracker' to check in with your own mental health before and after exercising.

Bringing psychologists and doctors on board to "secure credibility" in the app, 5% of the proceeds will be directed towards the mental health charity CALM, with further signposts to their website and counselling if users are in need of extra help.

Leigh Journal: The 'Banish' is available to download on the App Store and on AndroidsThe 'Banish' is available to download on the App Store and on Androids

Jamie, who is originally from London and has recently taken up cage fighting, said: "The app focuses on fitness and exercise as a tool to help with your wellbeing.

"It's not the solution - and I would advise a combination of things - but it's a way to quieten the noise and work on your everyday demons.

Since founding the app earlier this year, it has already returned positive results with 78% of users reporting they feel more in control of their demons, and 91% able to identify how they are feeling before and after a workout.

Jamie added: "You can't ever avoid mental health problems. At some time it's going to affect you or someone you're close to.

"It's so important to build mental resilience for this, and have that support network ready for people to get through it."