Naomi Osaka, four-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1-ranked player, shined a light on the importance of mental health when she announced she would not be doing interviews during the French Open. She revealed she has suffered from depression for years and gets anxiety when speaking to the media. Osaka’s decision to put her mental health first garnered overwhelming support, as fellow athletes, celebrities, and even Michelle Obama reached out to her to show their support.
Osaka went into detail about her struggles with anxiety and depression in an essay for Time Magazine saying, “It has become apparent to me that literally everyone either suffers from issues related to their mental health or knows someone who does. The number of messages I received from such a vast cross section of people confirms that. I think we can almost universally agree that each of us is a human being and subject to feelings and emotions.”
Naomi’s openness has sparked broader conversations around how we deal with and view mental health in general. “I do hope that people can relate and understand it’s O.K. to not be O.K., and it’s O.K. to talk about it. There are people who can help, and there is usually light at the end of any tunnel.”
"Image Courtesy of Time Magazine"