Former Vols coach Jay Graham: ‘I am taking time away from football’ to seek help for mental health

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Graham leaves University of Alabama football staff to seek professional help

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Alabama running backs coach Jay Graham says he’s stepping away from football in order to seek professional help for his mental health.

Graham, a former running back and assistant coach for the Tennessee Vols, was hired on Feb. 1 by Nick Saban onto Alabama’s coaching staff. Graham released a statement on Twitter explaining the quick departure.

“I appreciate Coach Saban and the University of Alabama for their understanding and support during this difficult time. The events of the past year have taken a toll on millions of people around the world, not only in lost loved ones or lost jobs but in the unprecedented anxieties and mental health.

I am taking time away from football to seek professional help immediately, gain a better understanding of mental health and spend time with loved ones. I hope to rebalance my life so that I am able to return to my passion of coaching and helping student-athletes pursue their dreams.

While mental health issues are not new, they are often difficult to discuss, especially for coaches/athletes. I hope my voice inspires others that may be struggling to seek help.

I would like to thank everyone for their support, grace and words of encouragement.

Jay”

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