Whether you’re an amateur sports enthusiast or a professional athlete, a head coach or a referee, a sports reporter or an equipment manager, a family member or a friend to any of the above: the title of this platform is supposed to remind you every time you speak, hear or read it. It Helps To Talk.
There are millions and millions of people around the globe struggling with anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and depression as well as other diagnoses that for various (stupid) reasons are generally perceived as a weakness. Mental illness in sports is as big of a problem as it is in the rest of the world. As a reporter and sports lover, I’ve heard hundreds of stories through the years, as all types of people in our beloved sports community have opened up about mental issues. Some in public, like the brave hockey goalie Robin Lehner and basketball player Kevin Love. And some in the quietest of moments, where they feel safe and heard by the one they talk to. Each and every one of these stories has an impact ant the more we talk, the more we show the world that there’s nothing, nothing, wrong with mental illness. And the more we listen to others we realize we are not alone. Especially in our sports community.
The step — from being silent to finally talking to someone – might seem big. And writing can be just as helpful, that too is a way of talking. This is a space for opening up about stuff that’s on your mind. It can be something you’re going through, something you’re insecure about, something that makes you not want to get out of bed in the morning or something that finally made you want to. Here you can be anonymous or use or name. You can ask for advice or just try the effect of letting your thoughts and feelings see the light of day through your fingers and a keyboard.
SO HOW DO WE DO THIS?
If you want to share your story on this platform send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll figure out the rest together.
If you want to be anonymous that is totally okay. You can even have a friend send the email, or use an anonymous email address.
Listen. I’m not a psychologist or an expert on mental health. I just know that every single person I’ve talked to, that struggled with mental issues, have said with a tremendous sincerity that talking helps. And for me, I agree completely.
Maybe not immediately. Maybe not every time. But it helps to talk.