The discussion about mental health among athletes continues to be on the forefront after Simone Biles stepped away from Olympic competition in Tokyo earlier this week.
13 ON YOUR SIDE's Meredith TerHaar spoke with Dr. Nicole Beurkens, a holistic child psychologist, who says the decision Simone made sends a profoundly important message.
"We know that our young people are struggling more than ever before with mental health related issues, and there is still so much stigma around that," said Dr. Beurkens.
"So the idea that this amazingly talented 20-something-year-old gymnast on a national/international platform like this could say, whoa. I'm having these struggles right now...it allows other young people to feel seen and heard, for them to recognize that they are not the only ones, even the amazing talented athletes that they watch have these same human struggles."
"Just for them to not feel alone, just the community that comes out of that is powerful and now having a model for saying you can take a stand for your mental health, you can step back and course correct and make changes because it's what you need to do to support your self. So I think it's one of the most profoundly important lessons that could come out of the games," said Dr. Beurkens.
Simone Biles said on Twitter after stepping away, the outpouring of support made her realize she's more than her accomplishments... something she never truly believed before.
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, you can reach out to the 24-7 national suicide prevention lifeline: 800-273-8255.
For more insights from Dr. Beurkens, visit her website.
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