(WVLT) -- Tennessee football player Brian Maurer sparked a dialogue about mental health in a stunning post on Instagram. Maurer revealed May 1 that he had planned to kill himself on January 22.
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In honor of may being mental health month I’m encouraging everyone to seek help but also to speak up and to share their stories, here’s my story since the 7th grade i have struggled with anxiety and depression this battle has been long and hard it has been an everyday battle , In the 7th grade my father was sentenced to 25 years in prison, around the same time my mom and stepdad split up causing me to have to grow up early In the 9th grade me and my mom decided it would be best if i moved in with my grandmother while she moved for a little bit causing even more depression as i was no longer with my mom and my younger sister Junior year of highschool one of my best friends committed suicide and i had never felt so low in my entire life one as of the strongest people i have ever know lost his battle . Dewayne ALWAYS had a smile on his face and was always telling me i was gonna be something great. At this point i knew i was in trouble but i still refused hell from anyone Senior year of highschool I lost 2 friends to gun violence i slipped even deeper into a black hole and I turned to everything else but seeking help I was embarrassed to be like this , I always thought that as a guy i had to have tough skin and not to let anything bother me 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. I always thought i needed to be the shoulder for people to cry on when deep down i was screaming for help On Wednesday January 22 , 2020 i planned to take my own life , i though i lost my battle with depression and that my pain had come to an end as i was going to do it i looked up and i said “god if this isn’t your plan for me please send me a sign” 2 minutes later my mom called me with my baby nephew Jeremiah and she said she was just calling to say she loved me , i then knew that by ending my pain i would be causing so much more to the people who loved me. 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 . #longlivewayne��
In the post, Maurer detailed his journey dealing with anxiety and depression since he was in seventh grade.
"[S]ince the 7th grade i have struggled with anxiety and depression this battle has been long and hard it has been an everyday battle," he wrote. He added that, during his seventh grade year, his father was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He added that he moved in with his grandmother in ninth grade and lost his best friend to suicide when he was a junior.
It was then, Maurer said, that he knew he was in trouble, but he said he refused to ask for help, and then, when he was a senior, he lost two friends to gun violence.
"I turned to everything else but seeking help I was embarrassed to be like this, I always thought that as a guy i had to have tough skin and not to let anything bother me," he wrote.
He said he planned to kill himself on January 22, but stopped after getting a call from his mother. "I said 'god if this isn’t your plan for me please send me a sign'.” Maurer said minutes later his mother called with his nephew on the phone.
"She said she was just calling to say she loved me , i then knew that by ending my pain i would be causing so much more to the people who loved me," he said.
In his emotional and honest post, Maurer urged others to open up about mental health and to seek help if they need it.
Maurer told WVLT News correspondent and ESPN writer Chris Lowe that he was seeking treatment and that "everybody at the University of Tennessee has been great."
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also call 855-274-7471.
For more mental health services, go here.
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