The five-year NFL veteran is no stranger to mental health struggles.
He has been outspoken about his own journey of mental health and battling depression since losing his older sister to suicide in 2018. He explained how he felt swallowed up by pain and heartache when he passed away. ‘Ella, not knowing how to ask for help. And while his story is hard to tell, Thomas knows it’s important to shine a light on the not-so-perfect sides of life in the public eye.
“People see us as professional athletes, we have our lives together; we are good. But in reality, we are human like everyone else. We go through anxiety, we go through depression, we go through grief, awkwardness. , No matter what it is, just to make someone feel like they’re not alone, seeing someone else they are watching going through the same struggles they are, it is extremely useful.
“It’s just heartwarming to know that you don’t feel like you’re going crazy because you’re the only one feeling that way. A lot of people feel that way. Hey, you’re not alone in this fight. It’s OK not to be OK It’s OK to feel your emotions, it’s OK to feel your feelings You feel them for a reason.
Thomas has scored 2.5 sacks in six games this season, 0.5 off his career high with the 49ers in his freshman year.
His success during the season is in part due to the focus on mental health and keeping his body in shape. Working with two mind coaches, Thomas noted that he enjoyed journaling and meditating to keep it in good headspace.
âI work on my mental game as much as my physique,â ââhe said. âJust understanding how much your mind plays in the game and how much your mind plays in life, it really helped me to be able to catch my breath and be present and really become a better player and become a better. anybody.”
Most importantly, Thomas is happy to see the foundation working to change the stigma surrounding mental health, and now aims to expand its resources to help the older generation understand the language of mental health.
âI can relate to people,â he said. “I can see my story, my sister’s story, the stories of other players saving lives and changing lives.”