San Francisco Giants minor league outfielder Drew Robinson attempted to take his own life on April 16, 2020. He survived and has now shared his story with ESPN's Jeff Passan to help those who have mental health issues and encourage them to talk about what they're going through.
Passan wrote about Robinson's awareness regarding the number of adults and young people who have considered suicide in respect to the ballplayer's willingness to tell his story.
"He knows that sometimes life is like a vise, unrelenting, cranking tighter and tighter. He knows how crippling that can be. He knows that there is a burgeoning mental health crisis in this country, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 11% of American adults surveyed in June considered suicide, that suicidal ideation among 18- to 24-year-olds was at 26%. He knows this is difficult to talk about. He knows it's even more difficult to suffer through. He knows because he lived it."
Robinson noted the importance of working at improving his mental health on a daily basis, saying that reaching that goal is always a work in progress.
"I don't have it all figured out, but I'm working on it. It's not something that you just achieve. You don't just achieve self-growth. You don't get to a point where you just have it and you don't have to work at it again. It's not like a tool that you just get and you just have it forever. You don't get to a point where, 'Oh, I'm happy today. That's it. I'm going to be happy for the rest of my life.' It's the same way in the opposite. 'I had a rough day.' That doesn't mean the rest of your life is going to suck."
He also discussed the importance of reaching out to people for help regardless of how big or small an issue may be.
"I never will hold back from asking or telling someone, even if it's something simple. 'Hey, this little thing's annoying me today.' Just tell them. They want to hear it. People that love you want to hear it, and if you don't have people that love you, therapists want to hear it. People want to help you. Professionals want to help you. So many people in this world are willing to help anyone going through these things. It might be a specific situation that makes it feel like you're alone, but you're never alone."
Robinson's treatment began with 12 days at the UMC Trauma Center before five more days at a psychiatric hospital. He had numerous hospital stays, underwent four surgeries and now has a prosthetic eye after surviving the gunshot wound to his head.
Robinson's ongoing wellness efforts also involve following a routine every day, including playing with his dogs, multiple workouts, calls to loved ones and friends and meditation. He also has weekly calls with multiple therapists.
In addition, Robinson said he does things to fill his time and achieve other goals, such as working for Postmates for extra money. He also gets extra sleep and keeps close tabs on his nutrition.
To close his nights, Robinson writes in a journal, always ending each entry with: "I LOVE MYSELF, AND I LOVE MY LIFE!!"
In October, Giants GM Farhan Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler told Robinson they wanted him to remain with the organization and believe he could still play in the majors. He'll attend spring training on a minor league contract.
If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for 24/7 access to a trained counselor. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting "HOME" to 741741. For more information about ongoing support and mental health resources, contact the HelpLine at the National Alliance on Mental Illness by calling 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.