People in and around the professional wrestling/sports entertainment business have been sharing more and more about their mental health in recent years. Still, the community has witnessed performers like Hana Kimura and Daffney tragically lose their lives after publicly suffering from mental illness.
Knowing how difficult it can be for anyone to address mind & mood on their own, and with firsthand experience about how crucial it is to know you’re not facing life’s challenges alone, a group of pro wrestlers have banded together to launch the “Tag Me In” initiative.
Launching during Mental Illness Awareness Week, “Tag Me In” says their mission is “unite to break the stigma and normalize a conversation around mental health.” Their goal is “to empower people to advocate for themselves and support others in doing the same.”
Toward that end, the star-studded PSA embedded above features wrestlers like Trish Stratus, Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Amy “Lita” Dumas, Konnan, Gail Kim, Lilian Garcia, and many more talking about their issues, and encouraging others to do the same. They’re asking others to share the video, and record their own to be shared. There are also a pair of t-shirts available on Pro Wrestling Tees, proceeds from the sale of which will go to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Stratus & Garcia spoke to SI’s Justin Barrasso about “Tag Me In”, with the singer and WWE ring announcer-turned-podcaster saying:
“We want to tag in everyone. The pandemic has turned the world upside down, but I try to find a silver lining in everything. And the silver lining here is that it’s time to come together. That’s how we heal. So let’s make this a way to extend our hand and tag people in. All of us are going through life for the very first time, so let’s lean on each other to get through it.
“And the great thing about this is you can pick your extended family. Trish isn’t blood, but she’s my sister. Even if you don’t have close family members, you can choose your extended family, and that is great to your mental health.”
Take it from a recovering alcoholic & addict with major depressive disorder, things don’t get easier until you start talking about them. And there are more people than you think who can relate, and who are willing to listen.