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article imageOlympian Tom Shields discusses the importance of mental health

By Markos Papadatos     Jan 7, 2020 in Sports
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tom Shields opened up about the importance of mental health in an elaborate post on his social media pages.
In a moving post on Instagram, Shields shared that a little over a year ago, he tried to hang himself. He credits his wife, Gianna, for being able to rescue him.
He subsequently explained the situation as follows: he was caught in a certain line of thinking, where he convinced himself to get out of the way of the people that he hurt. He had feelings of self-doubt and wanted to cease that pain. Ever since he has sought the help of a therapist and he has learned new strategies to cope.
Shields urges people that have the same aforementioned feelings to seek help immediately since it can be on any day that these thoughts take over and make people act against themselves.
The Olympic swimmer expressed his gratitude to his wife, the "guys" at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as his coach, Dave Durden, and USA Swimming, among others. "This past year has been the hardest, coolest, most rewarding time of my life," Shields admitted.
He went on to describe Gianna as "the light of his life," and the "most supportive, kind, loving, and patient person" that he has ever met. He is also thankful for this year of growth and stated that he wouldn't trade it for anything. He noted that he is learning to recognize and to value different kinds of growth.
Shields deserves to be commended for his brevity and vulnerability in sharing this challenging experience with the world. Judges from their responses and feedback, this post has resonated well with his fans and followers on social media and the swimming community since it gave other people the courage to open up to him and share their stories and struggles with mental health in return, and know that they are not alone. They also shared their respect and admiration for Shields, ensuring him that he is loved in return.
This year, Tom Shields was a part of the inaugural International Swimming League (ISL), where he competed for the Los Angeles Current with Olympian Lenny Krayzelburg as the team's General Manager.
Read More: Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos chatted with Tom Shields in October of 2019.
More about Tom Shields, Swimmer, Mental health, Olympian
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