Hayden Hurst thanked Dak Prescott for talking about mental health
In the moments after Sunday’s game, Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst made sure to find Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, but not to congratulate him on a comeback win.
The conversation was brief, yet much bigger than football.
Via Vaughn McClure of ESPN, Hurst said he wanted to thank the Cowboys quarterback for talking so openly about mental health, including his own battles with anxiety and depression after his brother’s death. Hurst has been open about his own challenges in the past, including a suicide attempt in college.
Immediately after the game, video showed Hurst approaching Prescott and saying: “Hey, I’ve got a lot of respect for what you did, came out and talked about. Me and my mom have a foundation about suicide prevention. Respect the hell out of you for talking about it, man.”
Prescott said they should work together some day, to which Hurst replied: “Absolutely.”
“I thought it was awesome,” Hurst told McClure afterward. “I’m sure Dak Prescott doesn’t really know who I am. But I know the courage that takes, because a lot of people don’t like talking about mental health. They’re afraid to talk about it. They’re embarrassed. If guys like Dak Prescott can come out and talk about it, I think he’s going to save a lot of lives. I think that’s cool. I admire him. And I’ll be a Dak Prescott fan forever. I think he’s an awesome guy. . . .
“For a guy to come out and talk about that topic and use his platform to try and help and save lives, I’ve got nothing but respect for him because I know how hard it is going through stuff like that. It hit my family hard. My uncle killed himself. My cousin killed himself. And I had my own stuff with addiction and my attempted suicide. I know how much courage it takes to come out and talk about that.”
Having the support of others is key to dealing with such struggles, and NFL players such as Prescott and Hurst using their voices to offer assistance to those in need can only help.