Chamique Holdsclaw (Photo: Courtesy Child Mind Institute)
May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the US. To coincide with this, The Child Mind Institute is showcasing a series of videos of celebrities discussing mental health issues.
It’s all part of the organization’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign to tackle the stigma attached to mental health.
One of those to take part in the series is former WNBA basketball star Chamique Holdsclaw.
Holdsclaw, now aged 40, played professional basketball between 1999-2010, most notably with the Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks.
Since her retirement, the lesbian sportswoman has become a mental health advocate and shared stories of her own struggles. She has said that she struggled with depression throughout her playing career.
‘A closed mouth does not get fed’
In the video, she recounts something her grandmother told her about the importance of speaking up.
‘I think it goes back to something that my grandmother used to tell me as a young kid, a closed mouth does not get fed.
‘And the thing is, that people cannot read minds. And when I was going through some of my tough times, in regards to my mental health, I would internalize everything.
‘I was too embarrassed to speak up, and open my voice … to tell people I was struggling with these things. But finally, when it became too much, and I finally said, “Enough’s enough,” and I started to share my journey, and tell others, I realized I wasn’t the only one going through these things.
‘And it has allowed me to form amazing allies, and an amazing support system of people that are also experiencing mental health issues. So never, never, never forget the power of your voice, and how healing it can be, just to open up, and to share.’