Why Ian Thorpe wants you to swim for mental health

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Olympic champion and swimming great Ian Thorpe is speaking openly about his battle with mental health to help others dealing with similar issues.

The 36-year-old hopes that by talking about how he faces his own depression, and the strategies he’s learnt to cope with it, he can show others, especially young Australians, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’ve been someone who has gone through mental health challenges at different times and realising that there is a light at the end of that tunnel and to be able to send a message to young people that ‘you might have these times that you do struggle’, but there is a way of getting out of that,” Ian tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

The five-time gold medal winner, who is a patron of frontline youth service ReachOut, is this month supporting Laps for Life – a swimming challenge during March that aims to help raise awareness of mental health issues and the support available to those struggling.

ReachOut has been changing the way people access help since launching as the world’s first online mental health service nearly 20 years ago.

“I wanted to become involved with [Laps for Life] and asked if I could,” Ian tells us. “Reach Out does so many things for so many different issues, whether it’s things for LGBTIQ kids, or kids struggling with exam pressures, anxiety, depression, to people struggling with issues like suicide.”

Read Yahoo! Lifestyle

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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