MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When the Minnesota Vikings take the field in Los Angeles on Thursday, they will be without one of their star players.
Everson Griffen is being evaluated at a local hospital after a string of concerning incidents involving the defensive end and apparent struggles with mental health.
According to a Minnetrista police incident report, the Vikings director of security reached out to police on Saturday, saying Griffen had not been acting normal and that he might be having a “nervous breakdown.”
The team had told Griffen he would not be allowed back in practice until he had a mental health evaluation because he had been “explosive, screaming and yelling” lately.
After a police incident at the Hotel Ivy earlier that morning, records reveal Griffen went to a teammate’s home, got into a stranger’s car at a gas station and jumped out of an ambulance because he was afraid “someone was going to shoot him.”
Sue Abderholden, the executive director of NAMI Minnesota, doesn’t know Griffen or the specifics of his case. But she says there are some widespread misconceptions when it comes to athletes and mental health.
“That they are strong and immune from something like a mental illness or a mental health crisis. When mental illness affects one in five people, it is going to impact athletes,” said Abderholden. “Please do not feel ashamed about what’s happening. This is a health care condition, it needs to be treated as any other.”
If you or someone you love is going through something similar, Abderholden suggests reaching out to a professional sooner rather than later.
“Take those warning signs of an emerging mental health crisis seriously. Try to intervene earlier. Don’t wait until it’s a full blown crisis,” said Abderholden.
Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said on Tuesday the organization is in “full support” of Griffen.
If you or someone you love is going through a mental health crisis, NAMI Minnesota offers a variety of resources and support groups.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and in need of immediate assistance, the following resources can help:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Metro Counties (including Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington): call **CRISIS (**2-7474)
- Crisis Text Line: Text “MN”to 741741
- More information can be found here: https://namimn.org/support/resources/crisis-resources/