ATHLETES ARE HUMAN BEINGS TOO

Earlier this week, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka announced her decision to withdraw from the French Open. 

In doing so she has opened up some very important and very necessary conversations that need to be had. 

Athletes, whether in College or on a professional playing field are put on a pedestal, made to perform to perfection and always expected to be at the top of their game. 

That kind of pressure can certainly take its toll on anybody’s mental health and well-being, even that of a professional athlete. They may be our heroes but they are also human. 

I give Naomi (who at 23 years old is wise beyond her years) a standing ovation for her courage to step away from the podium and look after her mental health. A decision I’m sure that was not made easily. 

Why is it that when an athlete gets hurt on the ice, or on the field or on the court they are given all the time they need to heal but when their injury is invisible to the world they are criticized and made to feel as though they are weak?

Naomi is here to show the world that our mental health matters too.

Her courage to take a stand and step away from the podium for now in order to take care of her mental health and knowing that it could potentially destroy her career in doing so, I have no doubt in my mind that she is going to come through this stronger and better than ever.

She is showing the world that it’s okay to not be okay and that by choosing herself over her career, asking for help when needed and creating healthy boundaries in order to begin the healing process that she is a human being first; a perfectly imperfect one just like the rest of us.

*I’d like to give a special shout out to Nike and Mastercard, along with several other corporate giants who have sponsorship deals with Naomi for not hesitating to show their loyalty and support to her. Their statements to the press praising Naomi for her courage in sharing her struggles with depression and social anxiety boldly acknowledges that our mental health does matter. Thank you for standing with Naomi. I couldn’t agree more. 

#naomiosaka #tennisanyone #tennis #grandslam #frenchopen #mentalhealthofathletes #athletes #professionalsports #endthestigmatogether #yourmentalhealthmatters #nike #mastercard #sponsorships #mentalwellness #selfcare #mentalhealth #depression #anxietyisreal #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok 

Even Superheroes Fall Down

*May Be Triggering*

I’m sure that many of you reading this have heard about the recent deaths by Suicide of several Frontline Workers in the news.  Even before there was such a thing as Covid-19 certain occupations have always been at greater risk for experiencing Mental Health challenges such as PTSD or Suicidal tendencies.  Among them are of course some of our bravest and most courageous Paramedics, Police Officers and Firefighters who are exposed to the most traumatic events or circumstances imaginable.  

Now we must sadly add to the list of occupations to which PTSD and Suicide rates will likely soar in the months ahead given that the rise has already begun. It may not happen all at once, in fact, many of the Frontline Workers and First Responders could experience an “aftershock” of the Pandemic when life starts to settle down and get back to “normal” (a term I use very loosely these days).  

But for many other Healthcare professionals and First Responders they are in the here and now of the Pandemic and even though they may be our Superheroes they are also human beings first, being faced with extreme and unprecedented situations. Many of these brave men and women are carrying with them a very heavy overload through every long and gruelling shift they work and beyond which can also leave them with very little time to be able to release the traumatic events from their minds before moving onto the next one.

Most people who choose an occupation in Healthcare or as a First Responder were probably drawn to their profession because they wanted to help others and protect them from suffering or pain but now with the inordinate amount of death they are facing each day it is taking a further toll on their Mental Health and Wellbeing. For many of these Healthcare professionals and First Responders they are beginning to feel a heavy burden on them when they are unable to save a life, or they may be feeling powerless or defeated due to working with limited resources in many places around the world and many, many more are just simply burnt-out no matter how strong others may perceive them to be.

So our Superheroes need to be taken care of more than ever before. They need to know that it’s just as brave and courageous to take time for themselves whenever they are not working as they would take care of their patients. They need to make sure to practice setting healthy boundaries and to ensure that they stay grounded and mindful each day and of course they may need a helpful reminder that it’s okay to not be okay and that it’s more than okay to ask for help. If you know a Frontline worker or First Responder or are lucky enough to love a Frontline Worker or First Responder go check on them now and for the rest of you leave a heart emoji in the comments to honour our Superheroes.

if you are in crisis and need support go to your nearest hospital or call your local distress center for help.

#frontlineworkers #firstresponders #courage #bravery #suicide #suicideprevention #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #checkonyourlovedones #masksofff #ptsd #mentalhealth #selfcare #mentalillness #itsoktonotbeok #strongertogether #togetherapart #staysafe #stayhome #flattenthecurve #physicaldistance #bekind #parmedics #firefighters #policeofficers #healthcareprofessionals #doctors #nurses