Mental health has long had a stigma, but with further awareness of the importance of maintaining positive mental health, that is changing.
“Going to therapy is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” licensed clinical social worker Dr. Gail Grabczynski said. “Just as you go and get evaluated for physical ailments, you should and get evaluated for mental health ailments.”
Grabczynski was the Bears lead mental health clinician from 2005-2016. She also worked closely with former Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Marshall was able to not only get his life in order, but also speak freely about his mental health. He refused to do his sessions in an office and instead did them where everyone could see him. He was trying to end the stigma of mental health and athletes by showing everyone that he was not afraid to talk about it in a public setting.
“We need to continue to move this forward,” Grabczynski said. “Not only do we see it here domestically. We see it internationally that there is a push and a movement forward regarding mental health and the need for people to understand the importance of it.”
See more from Grabczynski in the interview above.
This is all part of a larger message and project from the NBC Sports Regional Networks. Religion of Sports — the media company founded by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra — has partnered with NBC Sports regional networks for a new one-hour documentary addressing the issue of mental health in sports. “HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports” is executive produced by six-time NFL Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall.
“Mental health issues have been pushed to the forefront of our national conversation,” Ted Griggs, president, Group Leader and Strategic Production & Programming, NBC Sports Regional Networks, added. “Thanks to athletes like Brandon Marshall, Kevin Love, Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, and executives such as NBA commissioner Adam Silver, we know that our sports heroes face mental health challenges, just like so many others. We hope this project will advance that conversation and show people that resources and assistance are available to everyone.”