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Falcons TE Hayden Hurst continues to share his journey of recovery

The Falcons TE has battled substance use disorder and survived a suicide attempt. Now he wants to break the stigma and help others.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s not easy to speak frankly about the struggles one faces in life, especially when those struggles are things that carry a stigma in our society, like mental health concerns and substance use disorder.

When people going through these challenges and working toward recovery share their stories, it can help break that stigma for others and encourage them to seek necessary help. That’s exactly what Hayden Hurst is doing.

AtlantaFalcons.com worked with Hurst and his family to share his journey: Battling substance use disorder, surviving a suicide attempt, and working hard for his recovery. The videos were released earlier in December, and if you haven’t seen them, I strongly encourage you to watch them.

Family and holidays can be complicated in a normal year without a pandemic. When you factor in the isolation so many are feeling, concerns about travel and seeing family and friends as cases continue to spike, and the economic effects of this pandemic, it’s going to be a difficult holiday season for a lot of people.

On Tuesday, Dec. 22, Hurst will be a guest on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk, and he’ll discuss his journey, his suicide attempt and survival, what he learned from it, and how he’s worked toward recovery. You can catch the episode on Facebook Watch at 12 p.m. ET.

I’ve walked alongside a few people who are very dear to my heart through mental health and substance use disorder crises. I’m personally very grateful to and proud of Hurst for having the courage to share his story. I hope it helps others feel confident in taking action to get the help they need.

If you’re struggling and need help, you’re not alone. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “NAMI” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. The world is a better place with you in it.