Some athletes leave the field for their own good | Hartford Health Care
April 08, 2022
As more athletes and artists share their stories of depression or anxiety, experts hope this will help normalize seeking help for mental health issues.
Last month, an Ohio State University football player announced he would be retiring from the sport due to mental health issues and suicidal intentions.
Harry Miller, an offensive lineman, posted on Twitter that he turned to his coaching staff to share his depression and suicidal thoughts, and they linked him to mental health care.
“This story is a great example of a young person in a position of influence, open not only about their mental health issues, but also about the steps they have taken to address them,” said Jennifer Ferrand, PsyD, Director of Hartford welfare. Health care. “Stories like this normalize help-seeking and can help young people not feel alone when dealing with mental health issues or suicidal ideation.”
John Santopietro, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network and Senior Vice President, Hartford HealthCare, said he is grateful to athletes and artists who speak out and advocate for their mental health.
“Now we have to do our job to create a system that will be there for people,” Dr Santopietro said. “We owe it to them to ensure that people can access the care they need.”
Dr. Ferrand said it’s also important to recognize the coach and staff at OSU who acted quickly and compassionately to get Miller the help he needed.
“It’s our job to look out for each other, and by speaking openly, showing kindness and compassion, and sharing our own stories, we can eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and finding a job. help,” she said.
Miller released his statement less than two weeks after the suicide of Stanford goaltender Katie Meyer, highlighting the struggle many college students and student-athletes face. For some students, returning to in-person classes and social activities can cause anxiety.
Miller shared in his Twitter post that he was a high achieving engineering student and rejected the stereotype that his generation was soft or fired for being stupid, and said he hoped people would be taken more seriously when they shared mental health issues. Many people praised him for his openness and shared their own stories or those of their children who they had lost to suicide.
Miller said he tried to come back to play with the Buckeyes but was still struggling, so he decided retiring was the best choice for him.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.