NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans wide receiver AJ Brown shared a powerful message about depression and suicide on social media on Friday.
Brown said in the message that he had thoughts of taking his life last year. He felt he had no hope of better days and thought everything was going wrong for him.
The 24-year-old recipient spoke to the media on Thursday to follow up on his message.
“I posted the video because I wanted to encourage others to seek help when they are down,” Brown said. “I did not take into account what depression really was. I grew [up] just to brush my emotions off and it got the best out of me. I just wanted to give a positive message that I’m still here, I’m growing, I’m blessed and have a lot to be thankful for. “
Brown pointed to New York Jets receiver Elijah Moore as a key figure who was there for him in dark times. The two were teammates at the University of Mississippi.
In addition to the family, Brown Titans coach Mike Vrabel thanked for having his door open for players to talk about anything.
“I appreciate AJ [Brown]’s courage, “Vrabel said on Monday.” It’s our job, it’s part of our job to make sure they can handle the stress of life, the stress of professional football, the strain it sometimes puts on their family. If you are willing to ask someone how they are, then be willing to sit there and listen to them. Do not make it a by-pass. “
Brown would not go into detail about what made him a dark place. But the presence of his daughter – who was born on April 28, 2020 – has helped him daily.
Even though Brown said he’s in a much better place now, he’s still talking to a therapist to maintain his mental health.
“Us as men, our emotions are not worried too much,” Brown said. “Get things off your chest. It’s OK to talk to someone. Seek help. You need to take care of your brain just like you take care of your body.”