Shane Warne on mental health and his legacy beyond cricket
Shane Warne was larger than life. His triumphs, mistakes, family, and life… were all played out under the scrutiny of the public eye. With his untimely passing, Shane Warne has left us all one gift. A gift that will save lives, and for that, Shane Warne, will forever be a hero. Warne spoke openly about mental health; he talked about how speaking to a psychologist was a great help. He normalized that it is ok to recognize when you are not doing well, to reach out and talk to someone. It is something that everyone, especially men, needs to hear more often.
“I encourage anyone if they’ve got any issues whatsoever, please go and see someone. It’s important to go and speak to someone.”
Shane had spoken to Jeremy Snape, sports psychologist, former English cricketer, and friend. Warne wanted to be better; he wanted to understand why things had happened. One of the first things Snape asked Warne to do was imagine his obituary. The psychologist had warned the cricket legend; Warne recalls Snape’s words, “It’s going to be brutal” Warne’s response,
“Bring it; I want to understand this.”
Neurodiversity, that funny thing.
Neurodiversity is a funny thing, it describes all brains, all diversity of thought. ALL mental health, good, bad and indifferent. Yet we all pretend that “Normal “is the ultimate end goal. Warne broke this stigma of mental health and neurodiversity, yet he was oblivious to the lasting impact he had and will continue to have.
Warne spoke publicly about seeking help and wrote about it in his autobiography. The Conversation continued, while promoting the book “No Spin” in 2018.
The Facts on Mental health.
According to the ABS, women experience a higher rate of 12-month mental disorders than men (22% compared with 18%). Women experienced higher rates than men of Anxiety (18% and 11% respectively) and Affective disorders (7.1% and 5.3%, respectively). However, men had twice the rate of substance use disorders (7.0% compared with 3.3% for women) (1)
According to the states, women are 68% more likely to seek help with their mental health.
Warne’s legacy goes beyond cricket.
Having chosen to speak up, Warne’s lasting legacy could include men’s mental health. The mere fact he spoke up. He acknowledged it is not a weakness, and even “The great Shane Warne” could be brave enough to asked for help. This one moment in time, in one interview, is a powerful and emotional insight into an iconic Australian legend.