This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
In a powerful message on TODAY Monday, former Ohio State football player Harry Miller looked directly into the camera to address anyone struggling with the same mental health issues that made him consider taking his own life.
“I would just say hope is just pretending to believe in something until one day you don’t have to pretend any more,” Miller said. “And right now we have all the logic, all the rationale in the world to give up on it. And I just ask, pretend for a little bit, and then one day you won’t have to pretend any more and you’ll be happy."
But the five star recruit from Georgia who led Ohio State to a Big Ten championship in 2020 was not the only emotional Miller.
Miller's mom, Kristina, took to Twitter to share her son's important message with powerful words of her own.
"My heart outside my body, out there helping others, THAT is who Harry Miller is," she wrote in a tweet Monday. "Harry always wanted to use his platform for good, I just never imagined this was the good. He is my hero. #BreakTheStigma @h_miller76. So proud of you."
She later told TODAY that she "watched him this morning and the tears and sharing his heart … it’s raw all over again."
On March 10, Miller announced in a statement on Twitter that he would be “medically retiring” from football. He revealed that prior to the season last year, he told his coach, Ryan Day, he had intended to take his own life. Day immediately referred him to mental health professionals.
Miller revealed he returned to football in the fall "with scars on my wrists and throat."
“They are hard to see, and they are easy to hide, but they sure do hurt,” he said. “There was a dead man on the television set, but nobody knew it.”
The former football player shared why choosing to open up about his pain publicly is so important and the pressure that comes along with playing football in a high-profile college program.
“I had seen the age-old adage of how our generation was softening by the second, but I can tell you my skin was tough,” he said in his retirement statement. “It had to be. But it was not tougher than the sharp metal of my box cutter. And I saw how easy it was for people to dismiss others by talking about how they were just a dumb, college kid who didn’t know anything.”