Herschel Walker helps destigmatize mental illness

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A Heisman winner, collegiate national champion and one of the most beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs that ever lived. Herschel Walker is one of very few athletes to have opened up about struggling with mental illness.

A man that has battled multiple personality disorder for decades.

A crusade of sorts to squash stigmas and negative connotations that come with mental health. Wednesday, for Herschel Walker, that meant making a stop in Savannah.

How can you maintain the ideals and image of an unstoppable professional athlete while battling multiple personalities? A fight most of you will never understand and one Walker knows all too well.

"Being a football player, where you are supposed to be this guy that is strong and healthy and do almost anything, people start to think something is wrong with you," Walker said.

When he decided to tell the world about his struggle, it was a time most people wanted to push the topic aside. But Walker says those days are over.

"It's something that is coming forward right now. It's something we have to deal with. To be close to Savannah which is my hometown and also to have an office here in Savannah, I think it's my responsibility to get here and try and do something to help," said Walker.

Walker and the Coastal Harbor Health System put their heads together Wednesday morning in an effort to destigmatize mental illness so that future generations stories will not be filled with misconceptions.

The goal line stalker says that the thing he benefited from most was receiving treatment and knowing that his success story doesn't end after acknowledging you're different.

"But I always tell people to look at my record. What happened to Herschel Walker after I got treatment, and after I continued to get treatment? There's no shame in asking for help. After I got the treatment, I built three companies, I did this MMA stuff. I'm doing all types of things and my life has got even better," Walker said.

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