Michael Phelps Honored for Mental Health Advocacy

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Photo Courtesy: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Phelps continues to use his platform to raise awareness for mental health.

His work in that area is not going unnoticed.

The Ruderman Family Foundation, a leading voice in calling for more opportunities for the disabled, said Tuesday the Olympic champion is the recipient of its fifth annual Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion, according to The Associated Press. The foundation told The Associated Press it picked the world’s most decorated swimmer of all time to recognize his advocacy for people with disabilities and “his own journey with mental health.”

Phelps, a 23-time Olympic gold medalist, has had his own struggles with mental health issues, including depression and thoughts of suicide, something he has made public, hoping to help others with their own struggles.

Phelps thanked the Ruderman Family Foundation in a statement to the AP for “their continued efforts to help eliminate the shame and stigma that surrounds mental illness. Together, we can normalize the mental health conversation and recognize the potential in every person — with or without mental illness — to contribute to our world in their own unique way,” Phelps said.

Phelps “has changed the landscape of mental health awareness,” said Jay Ruderman, the foundation’s president.

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