‘Breaking The Stigma’ On Mental Health: NFL Tight End Hayden Hurst Says ‘It’s More Masculine To Truly Reach Out For Help’
Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst wants you to know if you’re battling depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or any mental health issue, you’re not alone. The NFL player wants you to keep fighting, keep going, knowing there’s someone out there who loves you and supports you.
Yes, even as a man, it’s perfectly okay and healthy to admit your mental battles and struggles in order to get help and get healthy. It’s even brave and courageous.
At The Buzzer previously reported on Hurst sharing his story with the Atlanta Falcons and NFL community:
Hurst shared his story to the Falcons media with part one being titled: “Hayden Hurst wanted everything to be over. But, he was given a second chance in life”.
Hurst’s family got a call one evening that their son tried to commit suicide.
“At that point I wanted out, I had fought for so long and I just, I wanted it to be over and for some reason I got a second chance at this thing,” Hurst said.
Hurst’s parents immediately rushed to Columbia, South Carolina, where Hurst was a football player at the university. The tight end said his college coach, Will Muschamp, tried calling the hospital four days in a row but the hospital wouldn’t let coach talk to him. Hurst said having that support system of the people in his life in moments like that is crucial.
“You’re looking for help any way you can get it and for those people to be there for me, really helped save my life,” Hurst said.
“For whatever reason, God looked down on me and gave me a second shot at this thing and I made a promise, I’m going to make the most out of this opportunity,” Hurst said.
Recently, Hurst spoke with Red Table Talk and in an exclusive People clip, he said: “There is this persona that you’re an NFL player and you’re almost like a robot. You just show up on Sunday’s and you’re this big physical person. But I think it’s more masculine to truly reach out for help and say ‘Hey, I have a problem and I need assistance here.’ “
Hurst is passionate about raising awareness on mental health. So much so that he and his mother helped start a foundation, the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation: “Many suffer in silence. If we can help open the communication channels to talk about mental health, we can not only eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health, but provide guidance and support for children in need.”
You don’t need to suffer in silence.
If you need help or would like to speak to someone about suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression or any issue or mental battle you’re facing, there is someone who is available to talk. Whether that be a loved one, a trusted friend, a family member, a counselor–share how you’re feeling with someone.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. It’s a “free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones”.
If you’d like to support or would like to learn more about the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation, you can do so here.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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