Supriya Menon took to Instagram on February 20, 2021, to spread a message of mental awareness. She shared a newspaper article wherein cricketer Virat Kohli had opened up about his battle with depression. Supriya Menon said that this conversation about mental health and seeking help for mental health was very important and that she was happy to see someone like Virat Kohli have such an open conversation on the otherwise taboo topic. She called Kohli speaking about his mental health in such an open manner “a step in the right direction”. Her hashtags gave the message that people should normalise talking about their mental health and advised people to seek professional help if they required it.
The article that has been referenced is an extract from Kohli’s conversation with former England player, Mark Nicholas on the “Not Just Cricket” podcast. In the podcast, Kohli had opened up about the time when he had struggled with depression in 2014. This was during the tour in England where Kohli did not perform well. Kohli openly agreed to have been depressed at the time.
He said that he did not know what to do, as he constantly felt that he would not be able to perform. He felt as though he had nobody to help him out of the situation. He said he felt as if he was the 'loneliest person in the world’. He felt completely out of control and he agreed that there were many other players who had felt the same at various times in their life.
Kohli had been able to overcome that phase in his life, he said, and do well in the next tour in Australia, but that time had been particularly difficult for him he admitted. He said that while he had a lot of personal support in his life at the time, it was professional help he had needed. He remarked that if he had had the help of a professional whom he could tell that he did not feel like sleeping or waking up, that he did not feel like continuing, things could have been better for him.
Kohli also said in the podcast that it was paramount for players to get professional help without feeling ashamed about it. He said that players could fall into the pit of depression and not come out of it for months or even an entire cricket season, this makes having available help even more necessary. He strongly propagated the need for accessible professional mental health help all the while spreading mental health awareness.
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