Simone Biles sparks mental health conversation following Olympic event withdrawals

Hillsborough County

USA’s Simone Biles is seen prior to compete in the vault event of the artistic gymnastics women’s team final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 27, 2021. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)- Simone Biles has withdrawn from the multiple Olympic events in order to focus on her mental health.

Biles’ decision to prioritize her mental health services as a lesson and not just for athletes. In recent years receiving renewed focus around mental health and seeking treatment.

“Even as a psychologist I was extremely proud of her because that is such a difficult decision to make doing it in the spotlight,” says local psychologist Dr. Nydia Conrad.

Dr. Conrad applauded Simone Biles for taking a stand. She says the world needs more high-profile role models to speak up about mental health. Dr. Conrad says she’s seeing more patients looking for professional health as celebrity share their own struggles.

“For her to be able to take that stand publicly really helps people who are not in the spotlight because people do need to understand that you don’t need to be perfect,” says Dr. Conrad.

Both Brooke Frybarger and Brooklyn Woodruff have had jobs where either they have been stressed out and or they have seen others who are dealing with mental health issues and they see this topic as critical.

“I think a lot of people don’t categorize it as a priority and I think it should be talked about more I guess,” says Frybarger.

“Mental health makes you who you are you can’t be out doing stuff when you were down all of the time,” says Woodruff.

Dr. Conrad says employees and managers can do their part as well listening to their employee’s concerns and not putting too much pressure on them.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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