Written by Kimmy Sokol
Mental health more than ever has been the forefront of major headlines ever since the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people have come forward admitting certain struggles and how getting help made them become better people. This has not only been shown in the real world, but in the wacky world of professional wrestling as well, and man I am 1000% here for it.
As someone who has suffered from mental health issues in athletics, and has studied
(receiving a wonderful A on a 50-page research paper on it) I was more than thrilled when the “Tag Me In United” campaign started. This campaign was started by WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus and former WWE ring announcer Lillian Garcia to normalize the conversation about mental health. Mental health is perceived, by many, as something we can not necessarily talk about. We should be stronger and not listen to the noise in our head and around us, but sometimes the noise is way too loud to ignore. Now try going through all that when you travel the road 300 days a year and perform on live TV every week, yeah that’s not easy.
Following the loss of both Ashley Massaro and Daffney to suicide, Garcia and Stratus felt as if something had to be done. They started the campaign and got dozens upon dozens of wrestlers to help them normalize the conversation about mental health. From Hall of Famers to current talent you see performing every week the video put out on October 8th was truly powerful and emotional. We needed to talk about our struggles to help us through the dark times and make us feel like we are worth something, I mean we are all put on earth for a reason, right?
The campaign was also able to raise $45k by selling exclusive T-shirts which were available on PWTees.com and all proceeds were donated to the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). However, the wrestling world is not done by any means when it comes to mental health.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen several AEW superstars come forward to talk about their own struggles with mental health and how getting help literally changed their life. Some of these superstars include; The Blade with a very touching Instagram post regarding mental health struggles, CM Punk’s promo on the November 3rd episode of Dynamite discussing Jon Moxley getting help for his alcohol addiction, or Eddie Kingston’s beautiful piece in The Players Tribune. We’ve even see the Hangman Page storyline play out over two years which dealt with self-confidence and anxiety issues — which Page himself in a media scrum admit was true-to-life.
There is still so much more that can be done, but if you take anything out of this article is that mental health is real, and it is okay to not be okay. Wrestling has been my distraction for years and to see more wrestlers open up about this is more inspiring. It inspires little kids that it is okay to not act like the tough guy and admit when something is wrong. There are lessons in everything, take care of one another and just be kind, reach out if you are struggling because you mean something in this wacky world.