Michael Phelps Becomes Mental Health Advocate
Olympic swimmer and mental health ambassador Michael Phelps is continuing his campaign for greater mental health awareness.
He’s now officially on the board of directors of Medibio, an Australian medical technology company that says it’s developed a comprehensive test to help accurately diagnose depression and other mental health issues.
The company’s Digital Mental Health Platform uses “panel circadian, sleep and autonomic system biomarkers to objectively quantify and characterize mental illness,” The Australian explains.
Phelps says the test’s ability to provide data-driven and quantifiable mental health diagnoses has the potential to “make a profound difference” in people’s lives.
“I have personally experienced Medibio’s technology and believe it can help make a profound impact in diagnosing mental health and empowering people to seek the help and support they may need,” he said in a statement, according to The Baltimore Sun.
“In sports, there is so much focus on the physical aspects of performance, and athletes are analyzed from head to toe. But for many athletes, mental health has not been a topic of focus, and the data analysis aspect of it has been missing up until now.”
The decorated swimmer was recently part of the “What Would I Tell My Younger Self?” campaign, which asked celebs like Jay Leno and Keke Palmer: what would you tell your younger self about growing up with a mental health or learning disorder?
Phelps shared his experience growing up with ADHD. “I was somebody who was always constantly bouncing off the wall, I could never sit still,” he said. “I had a teacher tell me that I would never amount to anything and I would never be successful. It was a challenge and it was a struggle, but for me, it was something I’m thankful happened. And I’m thankful that I am how I am.”
Especially over the last year, after dealing with personal issues magnified by the glare of the limelight, Phelps was able to turn things around and bring himself to a better place. “I’m different than I was two years ago,” the swimmer told Adweek in December. “I look in the mirror, and I love who I see. That was a huge step for me.”
Phelps seems to firmly believe in Medibio’s technology and what it can do for the future of mental health treatment. “I personally suffered from mental health challenges from my teenage years on, and only fairly recently—after reaching a point of desperation—did I acquire the understanding, treatment, and support I needed, which has truly changed my life,” he said in a statement.
“I want to help others who are dealing with these challenges and make the process for them to take action easier and more understandable.”