Olympic gold medalist, Michael Phelps, was a beast in the pool, but faced hardships outside of it. Not known to some, Phelps battle with depression reached an all-time high following his second DUI arrest in 2014. He then checked himself into a rehabilitative center to try to make sense of it all.
Now in a much better place, Phelps is working to share his story and help others who struggle with similar mental health issues. In a recent interview, Phelps shared "Through this, if I can save one life, two lives, five lives, a thousand, a million; to me that's so much more important than winning a gold medal".
Last night in Boston, Phelps was honored with the fifth annual Morton E. Ruderman Award. The Ruderman Award is giving to individuals who are passionate about providing opportunities for others. Phelps certainly fits that description.
"Michael Phelps is a unique leader who has used his fame and status as the greatest swimmer of all time to challenge our society to remove stigma surrounding mental health," said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation.
"For me, this award means everything because this is where my passion is and the next chapter of my life is really heading," Phelps said. "We're kind of scratching the surface of what can be done, and I'm looking forward to continuing this journey and accomplishing some of the goals that I have — de-stigmatizing mental health and just getting the point across that it's OK to not be OK."
For more on this story and the interview with Phelps, click here.
Source: CBS 12, Associated Press