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Steve Young speaks about anxiety at assembly

Former Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young spoke about his lifelong battle with anxiety and how it's affected him in significant ways that even his closest friends didn't truly know about. Staff photo: Bella Scola.

By Shelby Rende

At today’s assembly, former NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young shared his experience with mental health and his struggle with anxiety. Young’s talk is a part of many new mindfulness and mental health initiatives at Menlo including a mental health assembly a few weeks ago and mindfulness activities every morning on day sixes.

From as early as second grade, Young struggled with leaving home and going to school, “What it looked like as a second grader was I wouldn’t go to school,” Young said. “My parents were like, ‘well you got to go to school’ and I [told them I wasn’t going]. I made up some excuse, but the truth is I didn’t want to leave home,” he said. This struggle continued throughout middle school to college, where he shared multiple stories about his hardships leaving home and being away from his family.

Young shared a specific story about him going boating with a family while he was in college. “I remember coming out of practice and standing on the sidewalk seeing them go around the corner, and I ran and hid in the bushes,” Young said.

Young continued to share his story and said he wasn’t officially diagnosed with child separation anxiety until he was in the NFL. He ended his speech with a call to action to the student body. “Recognize that if you don’t feel those overwhelming senses of anxiety understand you cannot rationalize that and put that on someone else,” he said.

Young continues to talk about his struggles with Mental health in his book QB: My Life Behind the Spiral. “People hear mental illness and think it’s scary, and that’s crazy,” Young said. “What I want to do is try to open windows and doors so that we can talk about it and really be aware of what people are going through.”

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