Robert Landers is known for being one of the Ohio State football team's most colorful personalities, but that doesn't mean he doesn't go through his share of hard times.
Mental health has been a prominent topic of discussion inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center this year – with new Ohio State head coach Ryan Day leading that discussion – and also across the nation at large, particularly over the past few days, after a pair of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas claimed the lives of more than 30 people this past weekend.
The shooting in Dayton weighed particularly heavy on the heart of Landers, who is from Dayton himself and whose father was shot and killed when Landers was just 10 years ago. So Landers decided to take to Twitter on Tuesday to share a video message in which he expressed his condolences for all who have been affected by those tragedies – as well as shootings in Chicago this past weekend – and discuss his own experiences with battling through emotional distress.
“It all, to me, circles back to mental health," Landers said in his video. “You got so many people in the world today struggling with this disease called mental health that a lot of people don't want to talk about, and it's a real thing. It really does affect people in a negative way, and a lot of people don't know how to handle it. I can say me personally, I'm one of those people who have suffered from mental health on many occasions, and God has continued to bless me and put me in certain positions, but it's still an uphill battle on a day-to-day basis.
“We all got to just walk strong, walk with our heads up high and for me, the best way that I've learned to deal with this issue and this disease is by surrounding myself with the best possible people that I can surround myself by. Good, quality people. People who that no matter what's going on in my life, no matter what's going on in their life, if I need them, they'll be there.”
Day also expressed his condolences for the victims of this weekend's shootings and talked about mental health at the beginning of his press conference following Ohio State's fourth practice of fall camp on Tuesday.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with those who got affected by the tragedies in Dayton, El Paso and in Dallas recently. Mental health is squarely in the news and on our minds right now, and that's why Nina and I have decided to grow awareness through On Our Sleeves and why it's so important to break these stigmas in terms of mental health because it shows itself so many different ways,” Day said. “I think it's just really, really important. I just want to send out prayers and thoughts to all those involved.”
The flags at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center were also lowered to half-mast on Tuesday in memory of the victims of this weekend's shootings.
Flags at the Woody Hayes Center were at half staff after the shootings in El Paso and 65 miles away in Dayton: pic.twitter.com/JnBmi9udkG— Alex Roux (@arouxBTN) August 6, 2019