Cardinals, Jay Glazer Lead Psychological Well being Work With MVP Kickoff Occasion

Justin Pugh hears the query always: How might NFL gamers have psychological well being points?

They’ve thousands and thousands of {dollars} within the financial institution and worldwide fame, the perks of being the one-percenters. However the offensive lineman needs folks to know cash and standing do not make him much less vulnerable to common citizen issues.

Like many others, Pugh has acknowledged his struggles with psychological well being. So when the MVP (Merging Vets and Gamers) Affiliation started a number of years in the past, becoming a member of turned a no brainer.


“We’re human on the finish of the day,” Pugh stated. “We now have the identical concern and anxiousness everybody else has. To be in a bunch like that is nice, so we will focus on it.

“I struggled earlier in my profession and a defining second got here for me: Do I wish to proceed taking part in within the NFL and do what it takes, or bow out with the psychological aspect getting one of the best of me?”

Within the apply bubble on the Dignity Wholesome Coaching Middle on Tuesday, the MVP group gathered, beginning with half-hour of health actions. Workforce proprietor Michael Bidwill, two cheerleaders, linebacker Dennis Gardeck, and Pugh had been in attendance watching retired vets and athletes interact in several workout routines.


Fox Sports activities NFL insider Jay Glazer led the dialogue afterward when folks sat midfield to debate their battles with psychological well being. For the group, it is about tackling the problems as an alternative of operating from them. The assumption is weekly periods of bodily health and peer-to-peer help can accomplish that objective.

Glazer began the inspiration six years in the past in his front room to handle psychological well being points athletes and fight veterans face throughout and after their uniform comes off. Glazer, who offers with despair, anxiousness, and ADD, felt the necessity to assist others worldwide with the group.


Glazer printed a e-book referred to as “Unbreakable,” detailing how he turned his psychological well being struggles into motivation.

“It is wanted,” Glazer stated. “There are 22 vets in the present day that kill themselves. It is simply not okay. That is my thirtieth 12 months masking the NFL; I’ve seen too lots of my associates go by the wayside. God blessed me with a giant voice to do one thing about it.


“It made an excessive amount of sense to place these two collectively. Our fight vets do such nice issues however when the uniform comes off, who reminds them of their greatness? Identical with these gamers. Them taking part in within the NFL shouldn’t be who they’re. What’s behind the rib cage that acquired them thousands and thousands? That is who they’re. That greatness all of the sudden does not simply go away when the uniform comes off. When you put them collectively, you may remind one another of their greatness, then begin constructing this household.”

The chapter has reached eight United States cities, together with Phoenix. Gardeck hopes extra folks dealing with psychological well being battles do not shy from reaching out for assist.

“The sooner, the higher,” the linebacker stated. “When you’re capable of begin having these conversations, you perceive how significantly better you are going to really feel.

“A part of opening up, you notice how many individuals have had comparable conditions and it creates a bond. Being weak lets you assist others since you obtain that help, however folks hear your story and might hook up with that.”

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