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Mental Health Awareness is primary topic of Day One of SEC Media Days

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Mental Health Awareness was a big topic during the first day of SEC Media Days on Monday.

Commissioner Greg Sankey acknowledged that the high-stakes scenarios of college football and the pressure on athletes could have lasting effects on players.

Sankey believes the pressure has become even greater in recent years with the popularity of proposition bets in college sports.

“We’re seeing trends in the mental health area that should cause us all to pause before these ideas around specific event betting within college sports are allowed to take place,” Sankey said. “And I’m talking about, for example, whether a field goal is made or missed, whether a 3-point try is successful. Is a pitched ball a strike or a ball? That pause should happen before any of these types of activities take place.”

Several players and coaches also addressed the topic of mental health on Monday, including LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who believes the perception is changing for the better.

“We are shifting towards being manly is expressing your feelings,” Burrow said. “I think we can see that shifting in our country right now. I think that’s a really good thing. As far as being a leader, I think one it is important to talk about adversity that you’ve faced and low points in your life to show that it is okay to be depressed. It is okay to be sad and anxious and have anxiety. And I think also as a leader it’s important to kind of look out for it with people that might not be as comfortable sharing.”

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SEC Media Days will continue with Day Two on Tuesday featuring players and coaches from the Georgia Bulldogs, Ole Miss Rebels, Tennessee Volunteers and Texas A&M Aggies.

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