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Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown opened up about his recent struggles with mental health and depression on Instagram on Friday.
In an emotional video, Brown also revealed that he nearly attempted suicide exactly one year ago — which is what prompted him to speak out now.
"I'm kind of nervous, even to be saying this, but a year ago from today, I thought about taking my own life. I had no more hope for better days and everything was just going wrong for me," Brown said. "The reason why I'm sharing this message today to you is that I'm still here. I'm still going. I'm still smiling, and I've got a lot of things to be grateful for.
“I just want to encourage everyone to protect your mental. Talk to someone. Get things off your chest. Do things that make you happy. It's so important. I didn't think depression was real until it happened to me. But now I know it's really real."
Brown didn’t get into specifics in his video, other than saying someone was there for him and helped him through his lowest moments during the 2020 season.
“God told him all the right things to say to me that night,” Brown wrote in his caption.
Brown is just the latest in the NFL world to speak out about their mental health so far this season. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced last month that he was stepping away from the game for his “mental well-being,” and former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Brandon Knight took a mental health break and opted not to report to the Baltimore Ravens after they claimed him last month.
Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson stepped away briefly for a mental health absence earlier this season, too, and gave an emotional interview about his struggles with anxiety and depression when he returned.
Brown is in his third season in the league after the Titans selected him in the second round of the 2019 draft out of Ole Miss. The 24-year-old has racked up 551 receiving yards and three touchdowns so far this season after posting a career-high 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Brown and the Titans, who have won five straight now, will take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
“Guys, just talk to someone,” he said to end the video. “Get things off your chest and take depression seriously.”