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Olympics and mental health

The Summer Olympics should serve as an example of the bravery it takes to stand up and say when we need help. Simone Biles, facing a pivotal moment, recognized her limits and scratched from the gold-medal final to ensure her safety and well-being. She said she was inspired by tennis player Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open in June to protect her mental health. In 2019, quarterback Andrew Luck left the NFL at the height of his powers, citing a desire to preserve his health.

The culture change spurred by athletes like Biles and Osaka will have ripple effects far beyond the playing field. Biles’s decision to prioritize her well-being over medals and accolades has been called “one of the most heroic moments of these Olympic Games.”

There has been an outpouring of support for Biles who said it “has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.” Whether a gymnast or a physician, we need to see ourselves as more than our accomplishments and reach out for help when you need it.

Important resources are below and on the Wellness home page (wellness.cooperhealth.org).

Cooper Health and Wellness

  • Carebridge: 800-437-0911, myliferesource.com
  • Peer support program, contact Dr. Nicole Fox  fox-nicole@cooperhealth.edu
  • Security Desk: 856-342-2400
  • Crisis Intervention: 888-596-4447
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 and 800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • National Hotline: http://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/

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