HBO’s documentary The Weight of Gold, which premiered Wednesday, examines the lack of mental health support for Olympic athletes. The film is narrated by Michael Phelps, who has been very open about his own struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts.
The film includes interviews from Olympic stars like Shawn White, Lolo Jones, Apollo Ohno, and many more. They open up about the struggles with being singularly focused on their respective sports, and the depression that arises when the competition is over.
Post-Olympic depression is something that affects most athletes, yet they claim there are no services in place to provide them with mental health support. This has contributed to several suicides amongst athletes in recent years.
Charismatic ski jumper Jeret Peterson, up-and-coming cyclist Kelly Catlin and inspirational bobsledder Steven Holcomb are just some of the athletes who have recently taken their own lives. Despite mounting death tolls, neither sports institutions or the Olympics have created significant mental health protocols.
“Do five other athletes have to take their lives in order to see change?” Phelps asked. “Like, how far down the road are we gonna get before somebody actually stands up and says, ‘We have to do something, and this is important?’”
Phelps pledged to keep fighting for mental health support. He said, “I'm ready to spend as much time as I have to in the years ahead to make sure others know that there's help out there and that it's OK to not be OK.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.
Watch as support pours in for 'Naked and Afraid' contestant forced to leave because of severe depression:
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: