When Hayden Hurst’s professional baseball career fell flat, he fell into a depression.
Hurst, who got a case of the yips as a pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system, leaned on his family and found football as a path out of those dark days.
Yesterday, on national Mental Health Awareness Day, Hurst shined a light on depression to encourage others who may suffer to seek help.
More and more NFL players are standing up for the cause that was previously somewhat taboo for rough-and-tough guys. Hurst wants to help teach everybody that they shouldn’t hesitate to seek help.
Hurst said depression and anxiety runs in his family and tragically hit home.
“My uncle and my cousin suffered from it and they ended up taking their lives from their depression,” Hurst said. “I think it’s a huge issue that needs to be talked about.”
Hurst and his mother are starting a foundation – the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation – to put resources into opening up the conversation about mental health. They’re in the process of finalizing the paperwork.
“The more we talk about it and more comfortable we are with it, I think it’s just going to help people,” Hurst said. “We’re really excited about it. Hopefully we can change some lives.”