Harry Miller delivered a tearful message to others who are going through a similar battle.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 23, 2022. It has since been updated.
Trigger Warning: This article contains details of mental health issues that may be distressing to readers.
Former Ohio State offensive lineman Harry Miller got emotional as he spoke to TODAY's co-hosts about his early retirement from football, citing mental health concerns after having suicidal thoughts. Miller has a 4.0 grade-point average as a mechanical engineering major at Ohio State and was the valedictorian of his high school. The now-former Ohio State University football player also volunteers in Ohio and has made mission trips to Nicaragua to help families in need build homes. Behind a seemingly "perfect" life, Miller has struggled with mental health issues from a young age. His story is a reminder of how people may be battling demons not everyone can see. Now, Miller is addressing his own mental health challenges and also speaking to anyone else who might be struggling with the type of mental health issues that made him consider taking his own life.
The lifting of NIL restrictions for college athletes has also opened a door for more philanthropy.— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) July 12, 2021
Here's how Ohio State offensive lineman Harry Miller started an online pop-up store to fundraise for a nonprofit that helps schoolchildren in Nicaragua: https://t.co/0zwVctTot5
Earlier this month, he announced "his medical retirement" in an emotional social media post. "I would not usually share such information," Miller said in his post. "However, because I have played football, I am no longer afforded the privilege of privacy, so I will share my story briefly before more articles continue to ask, 'What is wrong with Harry Miller.'" "That is a good question," he added. "It is a good enough question for me not to know the answer, though I have asked it often." Weeks after opening up to his coach, Miller said he returned to the team "with scars on my wrists and throat."
The former collegiate athlete said that the pressures of playing college football for Ohio State made his anxiety worse and took a toll on his mental health. Miller wrote that he wrestled with the idea of getting help, saying that at the time, he would "rather be dead than a coward." But fortunately, he did get help as head coach Ryan Day referred him to mental health experts. Later, he decided to publicly share his story. "I had no intention of this happening the way it did, and people call me brave," he said. "But to me, this felt like not dying, and I felt like being honest. And maybe bravery is just being honest when it would easier not to, and if that's bravery, then so be it."
Ex-Ohio State lineman Harry Miller gives message for those struggling with mental health https://t.co/6IaHTpQy6z— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 21, 2022
In an emotional message, Miller directly addressed other people who may be dealing with their own mental health battles. "I would just say hope is just pretending to believe in something until one day you don't have to pretend anymore," Miller said, as he teared up. "And right now we have all the logic, all the rationale in the world to give up on it. And I just ask, pretend for a little bit, and then one day you won't have to pretend anymore and you'll be happy."
He continued, "I'm so grateful and I would just ask to keep pretending and then one day you won't have to, and you'll be so glad that you did. And that's the only advice I think I can muster."
“The dilemma is that nobody has to say something, but that is precisely why somebody has to say something.”— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 21, 2022
Ohio State University football star Harry Miller (@h_miller76) joins us to discuss his decision to step away from football to focus on mental health. pic.twitter.com/naKJLse0LC
Cover Image Source: Twitter | TODAYshow