After Dak Prescott‘s older brother, Jace, died in April, the Cowboys quarterback sank into an anxiety and a depression he had never previously felt. Prescott talked at length Thursday about seeking help.
“When you have thoughts that you’ve never had, I think that’s more so than anything a chance to realize it and recognize it, to be vulnerable about it,” Prescott said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “Talked to my family, talked to the people around me simply as I did at the time. Some of them obviously had dealt with it before, was able to have those conversations and then reach out further just to more people.
“I think being open about it and not holding those feelings in was one of the better things for me.”
Prescott discussed the death of his brother, who committed suicide, in an episode of “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” that will air this weekend. During a clip released by the show Wednesday, Prescott said his 31-year-old brother had “a lot of burdens on him,” including being the primary caregiver after their mother, Peggy, died of colon cancer in 2013.
On Thursday, Prescott spent six minutes of his 10:30-minute press conference speaking about mental health.
This offseason, Prescott spoke with Chad Bohling, a sports psychologist with the New York Yankees whom former coach Jason Garrett had visit the Cowboys.
“I’m a people person. I’m somebody that likes to be around people. I like to inspire. I like to put a smile on people’s faces, day in and day out, and I like to lead,” Prescott said. “When that’s taken away from you simply because you’re forced to quarantine and not be around people and get around people as much as you would like to, yeah, it’s tough.
“As I explained, it creates new emotions. Emotions that I’ve never felt before but obviously dealt with. And I obviously got the help that I needed and was very open about it. I think that’s why I was fortunate to get over it, as not all are. As I’ve said before, I don’t want to sit here and dwell on the things that were a struggle for me when I know I’m very fortunate and blessed and other people have it much more worse. But just to be transparent about it, that even in my situation, emotions and those type of things, can overcome you if you don’t do something about it.”
Prescott hopes by speaking out he can help others who face similar feelings. He stressed how important it is to talk to someone and to seek help.
“It saves lives,” Prescott said.