Athletes and Mental Health

News broke recently that Tom Boyd, an Austrailian Football League star, spent time away from the team last year to seek help for his mental health issue. The 22 year old soccer star and the team spokesman said that at one point he was barely sleeping and was suffering panic attacks. Tom is now speaking out for men's mental health and is championing a new campaign to help young men stay on top of their mental health. Unfortunately, in the world of elite sports talking about or addressing mental health concerns is often viewed by as a sign of weakness.

The reality is that these athletes push themselves through grueling workouts, perform at astounding physical levels, and are expected to hold it all together on their own. Now, more and more prominent stars from a variety of sports are doing their part to bring focus to mental health issues. From Serena Williams to Michael Phelps, A-list athletes are speaking out about mental health, hoping to inspire their peers and those who look up to them to talk about their own mental health. NBA star Kevin Love shared a detailed account of his personal experience with mental health therapy this year in The Players Tribune. After struggling with panic attacks, Love sought mental health therapy. His essay is filled with his struggles seeking treatment and living with anxiety. It also delivers the message that everyone should take their mental health seriously.

After being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2011, New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall began to advocate publicly for the mental health of athletes. He feels so strongly about the need for mental health care and reducing the stigma associated with it for athletes that he created Project 375 to help bring awareness. Marshall promotes the organization everywhere and even wears cleats on the field that bear the logo of Project 375.

It's hard to believe that an Olympic gold medalist like Michael Phelps would struggle with his mental health. However, after his record-breaking Olympic performance, Phelps felt himself slipping into a major depression. He was experiencing depressive episodes while training and away from the pool. Reaching out for help made him realize that there needed to be more of a conversation about mental health. The dialogue, he feels, is especially important for athletes who view talking about their mental health as a weakness.

With the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia, Serena Williams found dealing with her anxiety on and off the court was easier. For Williams, knowing her daughter is at home makes her feel like she doesn't have to win, she just has to be there. The tennis phenom has openly shared her struggles with anxiety and the impact it has had on her performance on the tennis court. Williams is an advocate for women athletes and their mental health and even shares her struggle candidly in her new HBO docuseries.

Admitting you need help for your mental health doesn't make you weak. Call or click today to get started with quality mental health care from Legacy Freedom. Don't wait.



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