Tennessee QB Brian Maurer Says He Planned to Take His Own Life in January

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2020

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 12: Brian Maurer #18 of the Tennessee Volunteers rushes during a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Brian Maurer urged people struggling with their mental health to "reach out to receive help" after revealing he planned to take his own life on Jan. 22. 

In a post Friday on Instagram, Maurer detailed his struggles with anxiety and depression, which started in the seventh grade during a difficult time in his family life.

Over the two years from seventh to ninth grade, Maurer said his father was sentenced to 25 years in prison, his mother and stepfather separated and he moved away from his mother and sister to live with his grandmother.

The Florida native, who attended West Port High School in Ocala, said he realized he was "in trouble" after one of his best friends, Dewayne, died by suicide during his junior year of high school.

"I thought I needed to stay strong for my family and that they couldn't see me down and that I was their shoulder to cry on," Maurer wrote. "I always thought I needed to be the shoulder for people to cry on when deep down I was screaming for help."

Maurer, who appeared in eight games for the Vols during his freshman season in 2019, said he believes he received a sign from God after thinking he'd "lost [his] battle with depression."

"[Two] minutes later my mom called me with my baby nephew Jeremiah and she said she was just calling to say she loved me," he wrote. "I then knew that by ending my pain I would be causing so much more to the people who loved me."

He also urged people in a similar position to get the help they need and stay strong:

"Please reach out to receive help, mental health is a very serious matter and there is hope for you! I along with everyone around you stand with you, you have the strength to deal with this. Please keep fighting, you got this."

May has been Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States since 1949.