Gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy is encouraging people to reach out to friends if they’re experiencing mental-health issues during the coronavirus pandemic.
In his first Instagram post in six weeks, Kenworthy apologized Wednesday for being “MIA,” saying he’s been struggling with depression and revealing that his family recently went through two major health scares.
After admitting that the COVID-19 crisis has “been really hard on me,” Kenworthy acknowledged that it’s “been a struggle for most everyone.”
“One thing I’ve learned is that just because we’re in isolation it does NOT mean that we’re alone. We really are in this together!” Kenworthy wrote.
“If you’re struggling w/ depression and you’ve been feeling down and worthless know that I have been too,” he added. “In school, in sports and in life I’ve always hated asking for help because I’ve wanted to seem strong, brave, tough, self-assured, etc., but I’ve realized that sometimes you just need help and when you do you need to ask for it. It’s literally what friends are for. Swallow your pride and text a friend saying ‘I’m feeling really down, can you talk?’ It will help.”
Kenworthy said both his 9-year-old nephew and 4-year-old niece were recently hospitalized with serious illnesses, but are now recovering at home. He said the ordeal has reminded him about the importance of family.
“I’m incredibly thankful and forever grateful to our healthcare workers on the front line of this pandemic,” he wrote, adding that he has launched a fundraiser to benefit First Responders First.
Kenworthy said he’ll donate all proceeds from personalized Cameo videos to the charity, and match the gift up to $10,000. Kenworthy’s Cameo page is here.