Recording: Prioritizing Mental Health with Jay Glazer

An honest discussion on the often-stigmatized issue of mental health.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! To mark the occasion, Meetup Live will be delving into mental health topics to help members feel more supported and centered year-round. Don’t miss our last session: a first-hand account of coping with depression and anxiety with National Football League insider Jay Glazer.

Watch this recording with Jay Glazer, author of Unbreakable and commentator for FOX NFL Sunday, for an honest discussion on the often-overlooked issue of male mental health. Learn to spot the signs of struggle early and hear why it’s never too late to make a major change to prioritize your health. Hear about the role community plays in recovery, especially for those who feel stigmatized by their illness.

Discover Meetup’s mental health resources for feeling more centered year-round.

Main Takeaways:

Mental Health vs. Physical Health

  • We don’t attack mental health proactively the same way we do our physical health. Let’s think about this. If I break my arm, I have to get a cast, and everybody signs it. It becomes a proud badge of honor, right? But when it comes to mental health, it’s different. We tend to hide from it. I often speak to football teams and tell them that they don’t just train when they feel slow or have dropped in their performance. They train consistently. So why don’t we approach our mental health the same way? We need to be more proactive and prioritize our mental well-being. That means reaching out to our therapists more often, or if we don’t have one, finding a therapist and talking openly.

Opening Up About Mental Health

  • When I’m struggling, I make sure to reach out to my therapist. However, I also make a point to call or talk to four other people. I let them know that I’m going through a tough time and that the roommates in my head aren’t getting along today. Sometimes, I just need to share my struggles with someone. It’s one of those days where I feel overwhelmed, and sharing it with others makes a difference. The amazing thing is that every time I reach out, people respond by either being there for me or sharing that they’ve experienced similar feelings. It’s incredibly helpful.
  • I remember when I first started opening up about my mental health. It was actually during the Super Bowl a couple of years ago in Tampa. I called four friends of mine and told them that I really needed to meet for dinner that night because I was struggling. Surprisingly, all four of them canceled their dinner plans to be there for me. When I arrived, they expressed how they wished I had told them earlier. I replied that I didn’t always know how to share my struggles in the past, but now I do. That moment sparked something powerful.

Breaking the Stigma and Finding Community

  • Seven years ago, I founded a foundation called MVP. Initially, we focused on helping struggling former combat veterans by bringing them together with NFL players. However, now we work with athletes from various sports. We train together for about half an hour, reigniting that passion within them. But afterward, we gather in a circle, what we call the huddle, and have open discussions about mental health. The results have been incredible. We’ve had significant success in preventing suicide and even helping some veterans transition off disability. In our first five years, we didn’t lose a single member to suicide, which was a powerful achievement considering many had attempted before joining us. The strength of our community played a vital role in this success.

Top Q&A Questions and Resources:

  • As a caretaker, how do I take care of myself while taking care of a loved one that does not see the bright side of life?
    • I’ve struggled with self-loathing and pushing people away. However, I’ve also found support from others and realized the importance of helping them. Many veterans can become bitter and have pity parties, but I understand their struggles and aim to serve them. I believe it’s up to them to come through their challenges, and I’ll be there to remind them of their strength. I had a veteran named Elliot Ruiz who couldn’t make eye contact due to the traumatic experiences he faced. After learning about his heroic rescue of American POWs, I encouraged him to hold his head high and see himself differently. He embraced this mindset and achieved great success. We all need to find something to hold onto and lift our perspective, even in moments of self-doubt.
  • How do you know when people that look happy and successful are struggling if they don’t mention it?
    • We have developed a remarkable skill for concealing our emotions. In my television persona, ‘The Glaze,’ I have crafted a character who is always laughing, joking, and happy and it’s a mask. You never know how someone really is, that’s why you have to ask. Recently, I approached a football player and said, “How are you doing, man?” He replied, “Doing great, Jake.” and he proceeded to share his seemingly idyllic life, residing in a mansion overlooking the ocean, living the dream. I responded with, “Good to hear,” Once, I said that, he admitted that he was not doing well and was struggling every day, he didn’t know where to go next. I encouraged him to savor the present moment, without fixating on what comes next. It is essential to appreciate our past achievements and relish in them, rather than constantly seeking the next endeavor.


Last modified on May 30, 2023