Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. You don’t need to be ok all the time, sometimes stuffs hard. Ask for help, I do all the time. #nottooproudtoaskforhelp #worldmentalhealthday pic.twitter.com/QiIZir7Inp
— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) October 10, 2018
October 10 is World Mental Health Day, a day set aside on the calendar to raise awareness for mental health education and advocate against its social stigmas.
Depression and mental issues can affect anyone from any walk of life, and that of course does not exclude professional athletes.
In Toronto to promote his upcoming title match against Brian Ortega at UFC 231, featherweight champ Max Holloway honestly discussed discussed his own recent battles with depression with TSN's Aaron Bronsteter.
When Bronsteter pointed out that until very recently he had never missed a bout, Holloway candidly reflected on being forced to miss three in the last year due to injury and health issues.
"Depression is real. I wouldn't say [I was in] a real dark place, but I found out what depression is this year, and it's not a great place."
Coincidentally, some inspiring words came from a former Toronto mainstay: DeMar DeRozan.
"I'm a big Raptors fan, and DeRozan, he said something that kinda helped me go through what I was going through...he said he wished everyone in the world had money so you could understand that money don't make you happy."
You can hear that clip with a link to Bronsteter's full segment below.
Another champion, middleweight belt-holder Robert Whittaker, was also quick to recognize the day when he Tweeted "Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. You don’t need to be ok all the time, sometimes stuffs hard. Ask for help, I do all the time."
For gladiators so often lauded for their strength and bravery, their words can be a powerful reminder that sometimes the biggest fights are within ourselves, and help is never far away.
For more information on World Mental Health Day and resources, visit: www.who.int.