Let’s talk about mental health and our athletes.
After watching the Olympics this past month, we saw first-hand how even professional athletes are not immune to mental health.
Over the last several years we have been seeing more athletes open up about their mental health and advocating for people to talk about their own mental health.
Kevin Love, Dak Prescott, and Christian McCaffrey are a few of the professional athletes who started their own mental health foundations after going through their own journey with mental health or seeing someone close to them go through it.
These athletes have stepped up to the plate to advocate for those who might be apprehensive to talk to someone. This has changed the game for not only talking about mental health, but athletes talking about their own mental health.
In American society, athletes are viewed as people who are indestructible because of how skilled and talented they are in their sport. When we see athletes open up or do an interview and talk about how they have struggled with anxiety or depression, we are shocked because we see them as real-life superheroes, but what we don’t see sometimes is that when they talk about it, they are showing the kids and adults who look up to them that it is more than okay to reach out and ask for help. This makes them even more of a superhero than they were before.
As we just saw watching the Olympics, Simone Biles advocated for her mental health and showed everyone that looks up to her that even when you are competing in the biggest competition it is okay to say that you are not okay.
Simone had the weight of the world on her shoulders and yet she listened to her body when it was telling her that it was not ready to compete in some of the upcoming competitions. She listened and was able to turn down the noise coming from people that what she was doing was “weak”. She took the rest that her body needed and knew when it was the right time to get back on the competition floor and won a medal in the balance beam competition.
Thank you, Simone Biles, for showing us that even on the biggest stage it is okay to say no, it is okay to not be okay and advocate for ourselves, focus on our mental health, and listen to our bodies.
Written by: Hannah Simmons