BYU and NFL legend Steve Young has been open about mental health struggles he’s had in his life and the importance of mental health, and he recently took another opportunity to discuss those subjects, as detailed in a lengthy story Thursday by The Athletic’s Daniel Brown.
Speaking at a charity banquet for the nonprofit organization Child Mind Institute on April 25, Young detailed how he had separation anxiety as a youngster and that his mental health challenges grew as his pro football career was blossoming with the San Francisco 49ers.
“And I really wish that for every young kid, for any little Steve Youngs running around, that somehow someone can say, ‘Hey, is everything OK?’ And that the little Steve Young would be OK to say, ‘I’m not sure. Something’s not right.’ … Simple stuff like that will make all the difference,” Young is quoted as saying in Brown’s piece.
Dr. Harold Koplewicz, the founding president and medical director of the Child Mind Institute, was quoted in the story as saying, “The one silver lining I see from the pandemic is that it encouraged people to start talking about mental health more openly and has incentivized parents to pay more attention to the mental health of their kids.”
Perhaps not recognizing their shared BYU connection, Brown referred to pro golfer Mike Weir’s attendance at the banquet as “what-the-heck random,” but he quoted Weir — the 2003 Masters champion — as saying, “When you get certain high-profile athletes — I’m thinking like Michael Phelps or Simone Biles — talking about the pressures and anxieties, I think that frees up other athletes to talk about it and feel OK about realizing people shouldn’t be ashamed of it. It’s OK to ask for help when you need it.”