BALTIMORE (WJZ) — National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day brought out some superstars, ready to share how human they really are.
Last night, the greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, talked publicly about his struggles with depression.
It was last summer when Phelps and fellow Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt decided to go public with their struggles to help others feel less alone.
Both are now honorary chairpersons of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.
They spoke in D.C. last night at a SAMHSA conference.
Phelps says nothing in his phenomenal career took more courage than asking for help when he needed it.
He says he descended into a dark place after the 2008 Olympics.
“That brought me to a point in my life where I found myself at an all-time low,” he said. “It was then that I finally decided that I needed help and that I could not do this alone. Life is tough. And it’s tough for everyone.
Phelps recently talked publicly about a depression so severe he didn’t want to live.
He says it all culminated after his arrest in September 2014 for a DUI.
After his sentencing, he headed west to rehab, where he says he found the help he needed.
“I truly encourage everybody to ask for help or to reach out to somebody you trust, just to talk,” he said.