Here’s a full transcript of what Irvin had to say about mental health awareness:
To my brothers — and that’s what you are, you are my brothers because we are family. We are part of an NFL family. And as family, we have to look out for one another the way we did on the football field. We relied on one another, we trusted one another, we gave our all to one another. We have to do that off the football field. We have to trust one another, we have to rely on one another, we have to share with one another. We can’t isolate. It’s the worst thing in the world for a man to do.
The Bible says ‘Confess thy faults one to another, pray ye one for the other and in this we shall find healing.’ What it means by that is when we talk, we find out that we all go through some of the same issues. And you may be able to talk to someone that has been in the issue that you’re in and he’s come out of it. And he can tell you how to come out of it. But we don’t talk. But we shut up, we be quiet and we don’t say a word and we implode. We put ourselves in isolation and that’s the worst thing you can do.
When you think about it, it’s how they punish the most hardened criminals in the world. They don’t beat them, they don’t whoop them. They lock them away in isolation, they cut off their ability to communicate with others and it runs them crazy. They have reason to be locked away. We do not. Let’s make sure that we’re not locking ourselves away. Let’s lean on one another. That’s what family is for. Lean on me man. And if I need help, I’m going to lean on you. We do it all the time on the field. Let’s learn — for our life’s sake — how to do it off the field. Lean on me.