‘Prioritize yourself’; Mizzou football player shares depression diagnosis, encourages others

College Sports

Missouri defensive lineman Cannon York watches their game against Texas A&M from the bench during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Columbia, Mo. Texas A&M won 35-14. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. –As the University of Missouri football squad tries to get its season turned around this coming weekend with a home game against South Carolina, a member of the team’s defensive line is stepping forward in hopes his story off the field can help others.

Cannon York, a redshirt junior from Lebanon, Mo., arrived at Mizzou as a walk-on and redshirted as a freshman in 2018. In 2019, he saw the field in one game, but in 2020, he saw the field against Florida where he recovered a fumble, and then saw his first start the following week, he started for the first time. It led to getting put on scholarship soon after.

On Wednesday, York shared on social media that despite the highs that came with achieving a dream of getting on scholarship at his home state school after he rejected offers elsewhere, there was still an emptiness.

“I kind of lost myself in a way. I was diagnosed with depression. I was going through all these different struggles and really just struggled to get back on my feet,” he said in a video message.

He says he reconnected with those around him and found help, and in the process, “found a new purpose and more fight/drive than I have ever had,” he tweeted.

His message for others? You’re not alone.

“I promise you’ve got somebody on your team, somebody in your family somebody that you work with that are going through the same problems so I encourage you to reach out, get that help…Get that help you need put yourself first, prioritize yourself because life is precious, you only get one life. Reaching out for help, putting yourself first is a decision you’ll never forget.”

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