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Mental Health Matters


As a sports fan, I have realized that mental health has become a much talked about topic. Professional athletes from Naomi Osaka to Michael Phelps have spoken on the subject.


Osaka is a superstar, the highest-paid female athlete on the planet, with a vast social media following. For her to voice her life struggles on a public stage shows her character and integrity. Professional athletes are real people with real problems too. According to the New York Times, Osaka has dealt with mental health for a while now. On her social media channels, she voiced that she has been “feeling vulnerable and anxious” in Paris and revealed that she has suffered from “long bouts” of depression since defeating Serena Williams at the 2018 U.S. Open.


Phelps shared some words to the New York Times about Osaka’s statement. “I felt very happy after reading her message because she’s showing that vulnerability, she’s showing a side of her that we haven’t seen before, and that’s so powerful,” Phelps said. “It’s going to be a game-changer in mental health moving forward.”


The fact that other professional athletes are standing up for each other about mental health is positive. Hopefully, more athletes realize that it is okay to take a break, it is okay to breathe, it is okay to have an off day. No one is perfect, and we all have things we are going through in life.


As a college student, I have off days all of the time. It is almost a breath of fresh air to see professional athletes I watch and love have the same issues I deal with. I hope everyone one day realizes how big mental health is and that everyone deserves to feel valued and loved!


Aaron Diaz is a Senior from Anderson, Indiana, majoring in public relations. Diaz is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.