By withdrawing from the gymnastics team final on Tuesday due to mental health concerns, Simone Biles let the world know that it is OK to not be OK.
The importance of that message, the people it might help and touch, cannot be overstated.
“If Simone Biles can take a step back from the world’s biggest stage, when the stakes are at their highest, it might just give others the courage to speak up when they need help, too.”
Restrictions of movement, social distancing measures and physical isolation, or ‘lockdowns’, the loss of employment and social interaction, and the added stressors of moving to remote work or schooling, and more recently, impacts of sudden, localised ‘lockdowns’ to prevent further outbreaks have all impacted the mental health of many across the globe.
More than ever the world needs a global advocate to amplify this conversation so we can all feel comfortable talking about our mental health.
Simone Biles might not have won a gold medal, but her latest move has won a far greater prize…the respect and hearts of millions across the globe.