Michael Phelps has been nothing short of heroic in his swimming accomplishments as well as his ability to be open about the difficulties he has faced in his personal life. In a recent interview, Phelps said, “When I’m able to talk through my problems, it’s like a one-hundred-pound weight has been lifted off my chest, and I’m able to live a happier life, be a better father, be a better husband, and be a harder worker. It’s taken me thirty years to get there, but it doesn’t matter. I was able to get through it and learned a lot about myself by going through some of the darkest places I’ve ever been to in my life, and I’m a better person now because of it. And you know, the suicide rate is way too high. This is life-changing. If I never talked, who knows if I’d still be alive today.”
Overcoming the stigma of mental health and substance use issues by talking about it is a vital part of winning the battle. Certainly, having a role model like Michael Phelps is a boon to accomplishing this.