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Black Athletes Breaking Barriers and Embracing Mental Health: Serena Williams

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to highlight Serena Williams for her honesty about her mental health journey.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to highlight incredible Black athletes who’ve made their mark with their skills and their honesty about their lives and mental health journeys.

These athletes, from different sports, are open about who they truly are, showing their strengths and challenges. Their stories teach us important lessons.

They remind us that life can be tough for anyone, no matter who you are. It’s okay not to have everything go smoothly all the time. They stress the importance of seeking help when it comes to mental health, showing that it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

They also show us how speaking up and standing for what you believe in can make a positive impact on the world.

Why we’re celebrating Serena Williams

Serena Williams is celebrated not only for her unparalleled success in tennis, with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, but also for her staunch advocacy for women’s equality and maternal health.

As a world-class athlete known for her formidable play and exceptional athleticism, Serena has consistently used her platform to champion women’s equality in sports.

Additionally, she has been forthright about the challenges of juggling work-life balance, embracing motherhood, and managing mental health, thereby shaping the conversation around these vital issues.

Beyond the tennis courts, Serena has been a pillar in the discussion of Black representation, particularly during Black History Month.

Her advocacy for racial equality extends into how she raises her daughter, Olympia. Serena made a conscious decision to purchase a black doll for Olympia, named Qai Qai, as her first toy to ensure that her daughter saw representation from the very start.

“Growing up, I didn’t have that many opportunities to have black dolls. And I was just thinking, like, I want her first doll to be black.”

Serena Williams

Her work further demonstrates her commitment to these values through the Serena Williams Foundation, which focuses on assisting families affected by violent crimes and helping youth receive the education they deserve.

Her Mental Health Journey

Serena has spoken about the mental pressure of competition and the challenges she faced with postpartum emotions and motherhood. Serena has often been vocal about the pressures of competition and the intense scrutiny that comes with it. She has openly shared her struggles, resonating with many who admire her candor and vulnerability.

After welcoming her daughter, Williams faced challenges with postpartum emotions:

“I didn’t know if I was going to be that great mom that I want to be. If I would have had that support, maybe I would have done things differently.”

In a heartfelt tweet from November 28, 2023, Serena wrote:

We hope these stories inspire you, just like these athletes inspire us. Remember, you’re not alone in your journey. With determination and resilience, you can overcome anything.

‘Head in the Game’ is here to help support young peoples mental health. To learn more about the ‘Head in the Game’ program click here. Young people can also explore resources to support their mental wellbeing by clicking here.