Naomi Osaka And Other Personalities Who Have Prioritised Mental Health Over Their Career

‘It’s okay not to be okay.’ While this is slowly becoming acceptable on a global scale, there’s still a lot of work to be done around mental health. For instance, people wanting to take a break from their job or career to take care of their mental well-being is yet to be normalised in a lot of spaces. But there have been a bunch of stars and celebrities coming forward to actively take some time off for a much-needed recuperation, case in point, Naomi Osaka.

Recently, the tennis champion announced that she is withdrawing from the French Open, and will spend an unspecified amount of time away from the court. A few days before this announcement, she had released a statement saying she wouldn’t participate in any of the press events at the ongoing French Open. The reason for this was to put her mental health first. She has seen players breakdown in lockerrooms post losing a match and while they may not show this every time to the public, what they’re going through is so much more than you can imagine.

 

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“People have no regard for athletes’ mental health. This rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one. We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds. I’m not going to subject myself to people that doubt me,” Naomi shared in a statement. She shed light on her post-match interactions saying that the whole situation kicks a person when they are down and that she doesn’t understand the reasoning behind it. And now, her decision to withdraw from the tournament is to focus more on her mental health. The sports star revealed she’s been battling depression since the US Open in 2018 and needs time off for self-care. 

 

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While the has sparked a major controversy, many stars from the sports fraternity such as tennis star Serene Williams and NBA champion Kyrie Irwing (who have also expressed their mental health concerns and taken a break from their career) applauded her decision.

Here are other famous personalities who have taken short breaks or sabbaticals in their career to take time off, recuperate and focus on their mental health.

Photographs: Instagram

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