07/24/2022 Paddy Pimblett’s Post Fight Speech Is A Reminder For Those Suffering Mental Health Issues

Yes, I love that the headline of this article says mental HEALTH, even w a discussion of suicide. It’s all mental HEALTH…lives on a continuum, & disorder & sadly suicidal ideations – are places ON that continuum. 

This story – bc it was a raw video on a big stage: UFC, is making its way arnd the web. Generally that’s a very good thing (but there are also some concerns, & I’ll get into them). 

Liverpool’s Paddy Pimblett scored a 2nd Rnd submission victory over Jordan Leavitt at UFC London, before making an emotional call for men to talk abt their feelings following the suicide of his friend.

Right after the win, Paddy (w a great voice & flair for the dramatics) grabbed the mic: “I woke up on Friday morning, 4 a.m. to a message that one of my friends back home had killed himself. This was five hours before my weigh-in. So Ricky, lad, that’s for you.”

Talking OPENLY on a big stage abt suicide. Yes we need more of it…to normalize convos. There’s a “but” to the delivery – to what was said above & what came after:

“There’s a stigma in this world that men can’t talk. Listen, if you’re a man & you’ve got weight on your shoulders, & you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone. Speak to anyone. People would rather, I know I would rather, my mate cry on my shoulder rather than go to his funeral next week. So please, let’s get rid of this stigma. And men, start talking.”

Once again we need to applaud the RAW heart. This wasn’t for an endorsement deal, like so often happens in this space. It was a genuine plea. That’s amazing. 

BUT, we HAVE to get away from the canned lines abt ppl: “killing themselves”…abt if it “solves” things…& abt the “decision” of “talking vs going to their funeral.”

These lines ALL imply CHOICE. When we talk abt suicide w the backdrop of choice, there’s SHAME when it happens. Suicide is most often NOT a choice. It’s a neural breakdown. It’s a magnetic pull of self harm.

So, great job by Paddy. But let’s also get tighter on the “what & how.” Let’s encourage talk before the error msgs begin: bc it’s most often not a “choice” made, & we need to remove shame.

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