Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Mental Health Awareness Week with Andre


May. 19, 2021

Andre Collins, PAF Executive Director

The following interview was originally posted in Premiere Sports Network. Check it out here.

How have the lockdowns in the US impacted your mental health?

Generally speaking, it has been tough at times. Early in the lockdown, things were fun, a chance to take a real break from the regular routine…but as time wore on I started to question purpose and productivity. I started to notice myself more, and that wasn’t always good. Looking a little fat and tired…

What have you been able to do to support your own mental health?

Exercise has sustained me. Walking. Jogging. Yoga. Weights. Also heavy doses of Netflix to escape reality.

What changes have you had to make to your lifestyle since the onset of COVID, that has taken away from your regular day-to-day?

Exercising at home, but that has been a good change. My wife has gone back to work so staying home with kids and managing the home during the day is new for me.

How have you been able to support the mental health of those associated with the NFLPA?

We’ve really tried to emphasise being aware of mood. We’ve hosted webinars where players can come on and share and chat with each other; sometimes without much of an agenda. We’ve also offered free virtual counselling sessions for all players active and former. The counselling program has been very busy. We also have a 24 hour ‘get help’ hotline for players.

What difference can the NFL make to people’s mental health, whether fans or the players involved?

I think using our players’ celebrity to communicate “that it’s ok to not always feel ok or normal…and to pay attention to your mood changes.” If American footballers can seek help then it’s ok for you to seek help too. We’ve been very active on all of our social media channels.

Is there more that the NFL can do to support mental health?

We can always do more. But I am pleased with our progress. We must continue to engage the social media influencers to help us solidify our messaging with our young audience and future fans

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

Rely on Coping Skills in Stressful Times

With the pandemic seemingly easing, another twist comes our way as the atrocities of war rears an ugly head. Giving us yet another chance to look inward.

Click here to read Andre's April letter.

Read More

Take Care and Take Stock this Holiday Season

Take this opportunity to breathe in the chill of the December air. Allow yourself time to slow down just a bit, to be present with your surroundings.

Click here to read Andre's December letter.

Read More

What I Discovered amid the Pandemic

I’m human. I didn’t accomplish all my pandemic goals. But I accomplished being present with myself.

Click here to read Andre's full interview Fall letter.

Read More

Meet the Staff: Laura Stefanow

"I just try to do my best in being that person that former players can talk to openly and without judgment.”

Click here to learn more about Laura's work, interests and impact with the PAF.

Read More

Happy Fourth of July!

Take some time to connect with loved ones and enjoy some R&R.

Read More

Why Microsoft Measures Employee Thriving, Not Engagement

A new way to support and empower your teams.

Read More

The Truth About Fasting and Type 2 Diabetes

Fasting: fad or century old-tradition?

Read More

How to Be Happy

Public policies based on culture are making people happy.

Read More