Tokyo 2020, Tokyoolympics, Simone Biles, Mental Health, Mental Health, Nyjah Huston, Mental İllness, 2020 Summer Olympics, Simone Manuel

Tokyo 2020, Tokyoolympics

Olympic athletes are being more open than ever about mental health and the pressures of competing

Psychologists have lauded Simone Biles and other Olympic athletes for helping to break the stigma of mental illness.

29/7/2021 9:30:00 AM

Mental health professionals are applauding the athletes for understanding that their minds are part of their bodies – and should be cared for with the same diligence. Tokyo2020 TokyoOlympics

Psychologists have lauded Simone Biles and other Olympic athletes for helping to break the stigma of mental illness .

Psychologists say the athletes are making important strides to fight the stigma of mental illnessMental health professionals are applauding the athletes for understanding that their minds are part of their bodies - and should be cared for with the same diligence.

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"The sooner we are able to consistently connect the two, and not always see them as separate, the better we will be as a society," Ben Miller, a psychologist and president ofsaid in a statement praising Biles for living up to her reputation as "the greatest of all time" by honoring her mental health.

Jay Ruderman, president of theRuderman Family Foundation, also issued a statement thanking Biles for using her platform to put mental health front and center in Americans' minds."Due to the chilling effect of that [mental health] stigma, especially in the sports world, we often only learn about mental health's role in such a decision through rumors or media reports," he said. "But today, Simone's transparency enabled mental health to take its rightful place in the public discourse."

And psychologist Jill Emanuele of theChild Mind Institutesaid in a statement that athletes like Biles can inspire young people and their parents to speak up when sports and extracurriculars go from fun to mentally damaging. "It's a brave decision to make to take care of yourself and go against all of the pressure being placed on you," she said.

Olympians may be particularly likely to develop mental health issuesWhile mental illness can affect anyone, Olympians may be especially vulnerable due to their innate natures, public and financial pressures, a lack of identity outside of sport, the post-Olympic crash, and a lack of mental-health resources.

A consensus statement from the International Olympic Committee found that in elite athletes, including Olympians,rates of anxiety and depression may be as high as 45%."Being an Olympian is advertised as this amazing thing, and they leave out all of the side effects," including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, figure skater Gracie Gold said in

"The Weight of Gold," a documentarynarrated and co-produced by famed swimmer Michael Phelps, who's been championing mental health for years."And then when all those side effects do happen, there's nothing in play to help you," Gold continued.

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