Hayley shares her story of navigating through difficult times as an athlete, a mother, a sister, a wife, a high-profile TV personality and a small business owner.
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When I was little swimming to me was an outlet for my competitiveness. It was something I loved to do. Back in those days, mental health, wasn't something that anyone spoke about and particularly in the world of sport. Inside, I can't even tell you how much I was struggling. So I guess that was what prompted me to want to study psychology and understand how the mind works really.
And not only that, but my sister having taken her life, um, in 2004, that has always been something that…. still haunts me sometimes you're too scared to say are you okay? You know, through my ambassadorial role, um, I hope, you know, to be able to change that just a little bit saying that you're not coping or you are finding things a bit difficult, it's actually an empowering thing. It's not something that you should be scared to admit.
I am extremely proud to be Queensland's mental health ambassador. For so many reasons, obviously the journey I have been on…. I know a lot about mental health.
My advice to people who are worried about someone, particularly in the workplace, find someone that you feel safe to talk to, and there's nothing wrong with seeing a psychologist.
Having that safe workplace is just something that's right at the top of my priority, along with my own mental health.