COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State coach Ryan Day began his press conference Tuesday by saying how proud he is of former Buckeye offensive lineman Harry Miller for sharing his mental health battle.
Miller appeared on the TODAY show Monday after medically retiring from football March 10 when he revealed his months-long battle with mental health.
“I think the thing I’m most proud of is the work Harry put in to get to this point,” Day said. “To step away [from football] was a big deal and now he’s repurposing himself and that’s not easy to do. I’m proud of what he’s done and he’s got a lot to offer.”
On the TODAY show, Miller talked candidly about his story and how it might encourage others to speak up and seek help.
“I realized the weight of words when I was preparing not to be able to say words anymore.” said Miller. “I’m just so grateful.”
Miller said he’s grateful for Day who shared his own struggles with mental health this past fall. Day’s father, Raymond, died by suicide when Ryan was 8 years old.
“Prior to the season last year, I told Coach [Ryan] Day of my intention to kill myself. He immediately had me touch with [two doctors] and I received the support I needed,” Miller wrote on Twitter. “I am a life preserved by the kindness that was offered to me by others when I could not produce kindness for myself.”
Two years ago, Day and his wife, Christina, opened the Christina and Ryan Day Fund for Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Wellness and were instrumental in getting the football program to hire four full-time mental health professionals.
“It’s something we need to be aware of and that’s why we’ve put in place some of these services to help our guys deal with that,” Day said.
Day said he and Miller are still trying to figure out how Miller can remain a part of the team without playing.
“We said we didn’t need to make that decision right now. We’re going to give it a little time and try to figure out how that is but he certainly has a lot to give,” Day said.
Contact the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “4HOPE” to their Crisis Textline at 741741.