Saturday, November 03, 2018

Swimming + Suicide Prevention


Once he began to talk about his feelings, "life became easy." Phelps told Axelrod, "I said to myself so many times, 'Why didn't I do this 10 years ago?' But, I wasn't ready."
"I was very good at compartmentalizing things and stuffing things away that I didn't want to talk about, I didn't want to deal with, I didn't want to bring up -- I just never ever wanted to see those things," said Phelps.
He has implemented stress management into programs offered by the Michael Phelps Foundation, and works with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Today he understands that "it's OK to not be OK" and that mental illness "has a stigma around it and that's something we still deal with every day," said Phelps. "I think people actually finally understand it is real. People are talking about it and I think this is the only way that it can change."

"That's the reason why suicide rates are going up -- people are afraid to talk and open up," said Phelps.
Today, by sharing his experience he has the chance to reach people and save lives -- "and that's way more powerful," he said.

"Those moments and those feelings and those emotions for me are light years better than winning the Olympic gold medal," said Phelps.
"I am extremely thankful that I did not take my life."

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