Since retiring from competitive swimming in 2016, Phelps has actively sought to raise awareness around mental health. Prior to his appointment to Medibio’s Board of Directors, Mr. Phelps worked with its team of world-class doctors and medical experts to explore ways in which Medibio’s technology could help address the challenges associated with the identification and treatment of various mental health issues. Mr. Phelps used Medibio’s technology to analyze his own personal datasets and experienced firsthand how it is uniquely positioned to address the challenges associated with mental health diagnosis.
“I am honored to accept this appointment because I have personally experienced Medibio’s technology and believe it can help make a profound impact in diagnosing mental health and empowering people to seek the help and support they may need,” said Phelps. “In sports, there is so much focus on the physical aspects of performance, and athletes are analyzed from head to toe. But for many athletes, mental health has not been a topic of focus, and the data analysis aspect of it has been missing up until now. I personally suffered from mental health challenges from my teenage years on, and only fairly recently—after reaching a point of desperation—did I acquire the understanding, treatment, and support I needed, which has truly changed my life. For me, self-awareness, from a mental health standpoint, is empowerment. But I’ve seen firsthand—in sports and beyond—how difficult it is for people to understand, discuss, and confront stress, anxiety, and mental health concerns, all of which can seem like an insurmountable barrier to getting the help and support that is needed. I feel that the ease and objectivity with which Medibio’s technology can accurately help to diagnose mental health will make a profound difference in people’s lives. I want to help others who are dealing with these challenges and make the process for them to take action easier and more understandable.”
Widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all-time, Mr. Phelps has dedicated his time, fame, and focus to a number of philanthropic causes including water-safety, mental health, and anti-doping initiatives. His advocacy for mental health recently earned the recognition of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (“SAMHSA”) as the Honorary Chairperson of National Mental Health Awareness Day 2017 and recipient of the organizations Special Recognition Award. In addition, Mr. Phelps is an Ambassador for the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf social media campaign in an effort to help end the stigmas associated with mental health and learning disorders.
Mr. Phelps established the Michael Phelps Foundation in 2008 with the focus on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthy and active lifestyles, especially for children. The Foundation’s signature program – im – was developed in collaboration with KidsHealth.org and Michael Phelps Swimming to provide water-safety instruction, recreational pool activities, and swim training, as well as health, wellness, and goal-setting education.