Seahawks Lockett and Jones shine spotlight on issue of mental health
Two Seahawks players are shining some much-needed light on a problem that millions of people struggle with every day. Their efforts just might inspire you.
Football is all about fun and games – literally. It’s a vehicle for escape from some of the heavier matters we all deal with on a daily basis. We look at the men playing the game as living the dream; they’re doing what they love for a living and making a very nice living, indeed. At times it’s good to get a reminder that the men under the helmets can struggle just as much as any of us.
Seahawks star Tyler Lockett is the epitome of success. He set the Hawks record with 100 receptions last season. Last year he also tied Steve Largent with his third straight 1,000-yard season. Lockett’s already made over $50 million dollars and is playing on a $69 million contract, $37 million guaranteed. So how could a man who has it all possibly be struggling?
Seahawks stars show mental health can affect anyone
Lockett’s career shows that happiness and your own sense of worth depend on much more than what we typically define as success. As a rookie, Lockett was an All-Pro and a millionaire. Despite that, he struggled with anxiety and depression. He revealed his struggles on Twitter:
There’s a bit more, but that’s the gist of his message. He continued with his thoughts in depth after Tuesday’s practice. As reported by Gregg Bell in The Bellingham Herald, Lockett opened up about the issues he faced, despite all the successes the world saw. Here’s a key insight from Lockett:
"“At some point, we have to be able to take a step back and ask ourselves ‘Who are we competing against? Am I competing with other people, am I competing against myself? Or am I just living life to be able to get where I think I need to be?’” Lockett said."
Tyler Lockett wasn’t the only member of the Seahawks to speak out about mental health issues, either. Hawks cornerback Sidney Jones has faced his own struggles as well. He tore his Achilles tendon at his workout before the draft. That’s certainly a good reason for anxiety and depression. The surprise to Jones was that despite making it to the NFL, his issues weren’t over.
"I tried to stay positive about it, but I had a moment where I just didn’t feel like myself, and that was weighing on me. I didn’t notice I needed help until maybe a couple of years down the road, and I never really got a chance to talk about it."
There’s a lesson here for all of us. The World Health Organization estimates that 970 million people worldwide suffer some type of mental health issue. That number is at least 53 million in the United States. Seahawks Tyler Lockett and Sidney Jones want you to know that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to reach out, to talk about your struggles. There’s certainly never been a better time for that message.