Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps shared his struggles with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation in a candid interview with Megyn Kelly on TODAY. Since his retirement from the pool Phelps has taken time to focus on family, joined Colgate on their water conservation campaign, and was featured in the new documentary “Angst.” “Angst” is an independent documentary intended to be shown at schools and community centers to start the conversation about depression, anxiety, and bullying.
“Once I opened up about that and things that I had kept inside of me for so many years, I then found that life was a lot easier. I got to the point where I understood that it’s OK to not be OK,” he says in the film.
During his interview with Megyn Kelly he shared that despite his astounding success as a swimmer, he was not immune to mental health challenges and even hit a low point where he didn’t want to be alive anymore.
“We all go through struggles,” he said. “Yes, I have been very successful in what I have done, but it doesn’t make me super human.”
Phelps has been able to use his fame and status to shine a light on a topic that is often stigmatized but affects nearly one in five Americans each year. Through his willingness to share his experience with the world, it will hopefully give those who are struggling the strength they need to reach out.
Jill Hamilton, Senior Project Coordinator, The Kim Foundation
Jill Hamilton has been a Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation since 2014. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Speech Communication Minor from The University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. Since working at the foundation, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition and The Metro Area Suicide Prevention Coalition, Nebraska LOSS Advisory Committee, The Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, is Chair of the Nebraska LOSS Teams Conference Planning Committee, and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Area LOSS Team.