Letter to the Editor: Speaking about mental health removes stigma

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How refreshing to see the focus on mental health take on the same level of interest as physical well-being at the Olympics this year.

Simone Biles, a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of her gymnastics doctor, bravely stepped down from parts of the competition to prioritize her mental health. Thankfully, her actions are primarily being lauded.

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Simone is not alone in helping to open the door to frank and honest talk about mental health amongst Olympians this year.

She joins tennis player Naomi Osaka, who dropped out of the French Open because she experiences anxiety at required press conferences, weightlifter Kate Nye, who spoke about her diagnosis of bipolar disorder, shot putter Raven Saunders, who opened up about struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, and others who are bringing to light this important topic.

What is the impact of talking openly about mental health struggles? It takes away the stigma. It brings hope.

If those in the public eye don’t mind talking about their struggles, why should I? If those in the public eye seek professional help, why shouldn’t I? Open discussions help to end this stigma often associated with mental health issues.

Here at Preferred Behavioral Health Group, we applaud all of these athletes for their openness, candor and frank discussions about their mental health. And we urge those in our community who are also struggling to reach out, unashamedly, for help when needed.

You can find us at www.preferredbehavioral.org or 732-367-4700.

MaryPat Angelini
Chief Executive Officer
Preferred Behavioral Health Group

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