Ohio State's Harry Miller opens up about mental health battle on 'Today' show
In an appearance on NBC’s "Today" show on Monday morning, former Ohio State offensive lineman Harry Miller spoke publicly for the first time about his medical retirement due to struggles with mental health.
Miller on March 10 announced that he was ending his football career after three seasons with the Buckeyes and shared that he contemplated suicide before last fall.
He ultimately told coach Ryan Day about having suicidal thoughts and received treatment as a result.
His decision earlier this month to open up about his mental illness stemmed from the idea that “somebody has to say something,” he said.
Watch Harry Miller speak about mental health on NBC's 'Today' show
“People have called me brave,” Miller added, “but to me, it just felt like not dying. It felt like being honest. Maybe bravery is just being honest when it would be easier not to, and if that's bravery, then so be it. I’ve just been really grateful to have received the help I have and to have learned some things I can share with others.”
When Miller reported his suicidal thoughts to Day last year, it wasn’t the first time in his life that he had those feelings.
He told the co-hosts of “Today” that he told his mother that he wanted to kill himself when he was 8.
“I guess I’ve always seemed anxious and depressed,” Miller said.
Former Buckeye Harry Miller grateful for mental health treatment and help
After undergoing treatment as a boy, he said he felt better by the time he was a teenager and enrolled at Buford High School in Georgia, where he developed into a five-star prospect and signed with Ohio State in 2019.
“As a student-athlete, you play a game,” Miller said. “Maybe it’s a hard game. Perhaps you made a lot of mistakes, and people send you messages saying, ‘Transfer, you suck.’ Some people get death threats. I text my mom. But you can’t worry about it too much because you got an exam the next day.
“And you have that for weeks and months, and by the end of the semester, you’re like, what is happening right now? ... I’m just really grateful that I was able to have received the love and care and affection that I did.”
While he retired from football, Miller is still taking classes at Ohio State and said during his appearance that he is preparing for midterm exams this week. He has been majoring in mechanical engineering.
Over the university’s spring break last week, he went to Nicaragua on a mission trip.
Miller has been traveling to the country since he was in middle school and helped form a nonprofit called Mission for Nicaragua with others from his church group.
When college athletes became permitted to profit off their name, image and likeness last year, he raised money for the group through merchandise sales.
How to seek help
If you or someone you know is experiencing a behavioral health crisis or suicidal thoughts, you can reach Ohio's 24/7 Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741, or call the Franklin County Suicide Prevention Hotline at 614-221-5445; the Teen Suicide Prevention Hotline at 614-294-3300; or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255/TALK (1-888-628-9454 for Spanish speakers).