Tennis legend Naomi Osaka is prioritizing her mental health to ensure her child will grow up with the best mother possible.
In a recent campaign, the 25-year-old teamed up with Modern Health to create a collection of children’s meditations designed to help kids learn about mental health and wellness at a time when they need it most. Each meditation is made for different age groups, depending on their social and developmental needs at that age.
The collection was made as a tool to combat with mental health crisis plaguing children across the United States, following the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey results: over 44% of high school-aged kids report feeling sad and hopeless throughout their daily life. For Osaka, this data is staggering.
“As I’ve gotten older, I have really relied more on meditation to help manage my feelings. I wish that I had utilized it more as a kid, which is why I’m so excited to have children’s meditations available now for kids of all ages,” she explained in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE Magazine.
“I love that I am able to help create resources for kids that weren’t available or common when I was a kid,” Osaka continued, explaining what she loves about the project. “I hope that kids are able to learn how to manage their feelings and emotions at an early age so that they can continue to use these tools later in life.”
In 2021, the tennis player withdrew from the famous French Open, citing mental health as the culprit. Following her ability to be so vulnerable about a taboo topic, she knew it was important to voice her personal mental health struggles in order to help others.
Naomi Osaka seeks to help others through their mental health journey
“It’s always really heartwarming when people tell me that I have helped them with their own struggles,” Osaka shared. “I remember being in a grocery store one time, and someone stopped me to tell me how much I meant to them as they were dealing with their own mental health struggles.”
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She added the sentiments, “At the time, I was doing it for myself, but I realized that my decision to help myself was also helping many others.”
However, at this current moment in time, Osaka admitted there is another reason behind vocalizing her journey with mental health: she wants to be the best parent she can be. At the end of last year, the 25-year-old announced she and rapper Cordae are expecting their first child together.
“I would say for me, I just want to be the best version of myself. Obviously, I’ve never been a mother before, so I’m taking it day-by-day and just trying to be someone that my son or daughter will be proud of,” she said.
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