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Russell: Don’t be ashamed to talk to somebody about your mental health

George Russell has been seeing a psychologist for around two years in order to keep up good mental health

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George Russell shares his mental health journey and opens up about his experience in seeing a psychologist.

Russell was able to score his first career win at the 2022 Saõ Paulo Grand Prix. (Image credit: F1 official website)

Formula 1 is known to be a physically demanding sport, however, it also has quite an effect on mental health. Mercedes’ Russell opened up to Men’s Health magazine about the importance of acknowledging your mental health strength.

The Brit told the magazine that his journey towards better mental health began by speaking to a professional in regards to his F1 performance. It later extended to him seeing the benefits off-track, and implementing it in his personal life.

“I haven’t always been into my mental health. I only started getting into it about a year and a half, two years ago, when I started to speak with a psychologist, mainly for my on-track personal performance,

“It was only through those conversations that I felt like this is giving me more than just the on-track benefits. I’m coming away from these sessions feeling better about myself. Feeling like there had been a weight lifted off my shoulders.”

“Sometimes I went into these sessions with not a lot to talk about, thinking it would only last five or 10 minutes, and I was there well over an hour and since then it has been something I have felt strongly about.”

Professional  help

What resulted in the 24-year-old getting specialist help had been a “crash” and “low point” in his career. He felt he could just brush it off and handle it on his own, but he was advised to talk to a professional. Advice he is now grateful for.

“The moment when I thought I need to seek some professional help, I had a really difficult race. I had a crash, [and] it was a very low point in my career. I thought I could just pick myself up from that moment and I was picking myself up. But we decided to speak with a professional.

“And I was so grateful that I was advised to do that because I came away from that conversation and that meeting with him feeling so much better about myself. and put those negatives to the side, lifted myself up, and I was ready to attack the rest of the day and the rest of the week.”

Russell highlighted the stigma that surrounds mental health care, especially for men. There is no shame in admitting that a person is struggling and needs help, says Russell.

“The one bit of advice I would give to someone who is struggling with their mental health would be not to be ashamed about talking to somebody. Whether that is a friend, or a colleague, or a member of your family, or reaching out to a professional.

“We all have our moments where we are feeling a bit down, a little bit low but even when we are not. I think talking to somebody to almost have this mental maintenance just to keep ticking over, to keep in that positive place, is so important.”


Featured Image Credit: Formula 1 Official Website

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