On May 14, the NFL and NFLPA held “Beyond The Physical: A Symposium on Mental Health in Sports." The organizations promoted the event in Mental Health Awareness Month as an "ongoing effort to promote player health and wellness."
New Orleans linebacker Chase Hansen shared his experiences regarding the importance of mental health awareness. Hansen, 27, is a second-year defensive player who spoke about being offensive and proactive in tackling mental health issues in a video posted by the NFLPA.
In the 50 sec. video, Hansen shared, "Being proactive about mental health isn't just for people with mental health illnesses, it's for everyone."
"And one reason I'm passionate about mental health is because of the positive impact. I've seen a play in my life when I've been able to be on the offensive in times when I have been in a funk or maybe not as mentally healthy as I should or could be.
I recognize that there's a lot of noise, and as social media, a lot is going on. It stops me from feeling and recognizing why I'm feeling the way that I am.
COVID is a great example of something that affected my family and friends, and other people. No one really knew how to deal with it as well as maybe we should [have], because it was new.
I think that's a great testament to the fact that being proactive about mental health isn't just for those with mental health illnesses but for everyone."
The NFL, NFLPA have collectively made an effort to offer resources, forums, and financial assistance for former and current players and families.
On May 6, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the Hall of Fame Behavioral Health program was created to find "comprehensive solutions through a network of mental and behavioral health services designed specifically for current and former athletes and their families."
According to Mental Health America, "Since 1949, Mental Health America and our affiliates across the country have observed May is Mental Health Month." The organization's 'Tools 2 Thrive' will offer practical tools for anyone seeking to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their situation.
The Suicide Prevention phone number is 800-273-8255.
Related article: Hall of Fame Announces Behavioral Health Program
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