The Importance of Mental Health

NFL Football is finally upon us! With the start of a new season comes the return of drama, controversies and new topics of focus. However, with last week's unexpected retirement announcement of Colts' QB, Andrew Luck, he pulled the focus from sport to mental health. With September being National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month we want to focus this newsletter of the mental health of our organization's employees and showcase the strength of seeking guidance and support.
Luck's Retirement Focuses on Mental Health and Recovery
"As the conversation grew, a universal theme emerged as players delved into the inherent contradiction of staying committed to your chosen profession while still prioritizing your own physical and mental health. The dehumanization of athletes is far from a novel concept, but the increasing awareness of injuries and their effects on post-career life has brought a greater understanding of the decisions athletes face."

The Misguided Perception of Toughness in Football
"Sticking with what you’re doing isn’t the only way to cope with difficult situations though...On August 24th, by announcing his retirement, Luck chose to cope differently. He chose to cope in a way which will allow him to spend more time with his family, travel the world, and get rid of the constant pain surrounding his life. See, being mentally healthy doesn’t mean being mentally “soft”. It quite literally means the opposite. So by the very definition of the word, Luck didn’t quit. He didn’t give up. He simply survived. And in the end, he’s tougher for it."

The Lack of Conversation Surrounding Men's Mental Health
"When the injuries and fan reactions began taking a toll on Luck’s mental health, it sparked an important conversation that is often overlooked: men’s mental health. This is particularly important because men are less likely than women to talk about and seek treatment for their depression. According to ., 6 million men in the United States experience depression in a single year and over 151 million men struggle with their mental health."

Luck Asked Himself the Question We All Need to Ask Ourselves
"In fact, the whole response to Luck’s retirement has been about how we as fans are affected by the decision. People are all over the internet telling us that our gut feelings of admiration or disgust are justified. I want to point you in a different direction, toward something that will help you out far more than pondering whether or not your fantasy football team will be the same this year. I want you to ask yourself the question Andrew Luck asked himself:  Is my environment contributing to me being the best person I can possibly be? "

How Can Organizations Promote Mental Wellness in the Workplace?
"High levels of stress can lead to or exacerbate larger issues like chronic disease and mental illness. So the question for leaders is, what are we doing about it? According to the research, not enough. While talking about mental health is becoming less taboo across the country, organizations still seem to be falling behind on this trend. My firm's 2019 Hiring Outlook found that only 20% of professionals feel they are offered excellent wellness initiatives by their employers. Wellness needs to take a front seat in company culture, and this should start by supporting your employees’ mental health."

Dave Baker's Take
"Is it a sign of weakness that a player loses their passion to participate in a sport that’s so wildly popular in this country?
The turnover rate amongst professional football players is anticipated. Why – mostly due to injury – but some due to burnout – which causes a loss of desire to prepare – which is a recipe for elimination."