Vinnie Jones says some people think he's ''an axe murderer'' when he mentions his mental health battle.

The 55-year-old star - whose wife Tanya tragically died last year aged 53 after a six-year cancer battle - admitted he doesn't like to tell people about his struggles because there is still a stigma surrounding the issue.

Speaking on the 'Headliners' podcast, he said: ''I just don't like, 'oh I've got mental health problems'.

''People stand back even now - 'oh really, what kind?', 'well mine's grief', 'that's alright then, you're not an axe murderer'.

''So I think that's quite a hard thing for blokes especially to say, 'I've got mental health problems, I'm seeing a psychologist.' ''

Retired footballer turned actor Vinnie insisted men of a similar age are ''scared'' by the term ''mental health''.

He explained: ''I hate this word 'mental health' because I think it scares blokes, especially around my age.

''Because you're kind of still a bit old school - you've got mental health problems, you could be a murderer or something like that.

''But it's the umbrella of the mental health that we suffer from. Mine's grief and tragedy. Divorce is massive for some people.

''Divorce is massive for some people and people have breakdowns. But they're all different pockets of it.''

And the 'Snatch' star opened up about the importance of people talking about their feelings to avoid bottling everything up while dealing with ''grief and tragedies''.

He added: ''What I want to bring to light now is we need to talk to professionals when you've got tragedy and grief and even divorces and things like that.

''So what I did, I started reading up on it. I went on Google and I started looking up grief and tragedies and stuff like that.

''It's quite interesting reading and I think that will help people to submit to getting some help.''