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Mental Health Minute: Venus Williams on Mental Health: Being Tough Means Taking Care of My Whole Self

How do we fight the stigma surrounding mental health?  In a blog post, NAMI leads with the importance of talking openly about mental health. With this in mind, it has been encouraging to see some of our “strongest” athletes talk about their mental health journey, the importance of reaching out for support, and the fact that it is ok not to be ok.

This includes Naomi OsakaMichael PhelpsSimone Biles, and others. In an opinion piece published this week in the New York Times, Serena Williams adds her voice to the conversation.

“It doesn’t matter who you are. You need support. You can’t divorce mental health from anything you do. It impacts your physical well-being, your decision-making, your ability to cope with difficult moments.”

Despite the prevalence of mental health needs among our nation’s population, only half will seek treatment. And for many, it will take a long time to seek that help. On average, 11 years from the start of symptoms. Williams states,

“But it is incredibly frustrating to me that only an estimated half of those who have mental illness get the treatment they need. As we confront the devastating impact of the pandemic, support for our mental health is more urgent than ever. I would imagine that if you’re reading this column, you know someone who was or is struggling emotionally. I know I do.”

We are thankful to people like Serena Williams who are using their platforms to open the conversation about mental health. The more we fight the stigma, the healthier we all will be.

“I am excited to lend my voice to destigmatizing mental illness, and it starts here: Let’s show up for ourselves and for one another and recognize what it takes to be truly strong.”

Read the full New York Times article here. Venus Williams on Mental Health NY Times

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