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Toto Wolff

Wolff urges men to seek mental health help – "You can't solve it over a beer"

Having previously admitted to long-standing struggles with mental health, Toto Wolff says men should feel encouraged to discuss their feelings.

Wolff
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Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has encouraged men to speak out about mental health issues, rather than suffer in silence.

Wolff had previously referenced his own struggles with mental health earlier this year, when he revealed that he had had more than 500 hours of psychiatric therapy since 2004, prompting rival team boss Christian Horner to praise the Austrian for going public and raising awareness of the issue.

In addition to Wolff, several other key figures within F1 have opened up over the last 12 months about their struggles with mental health.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton revealed in March that he had struggled to maintain a positive outlook during a difficult year in the world, while the Briton's former teammate Valtteri Bottas revealed that he had suffered mental health issues during an otherwise successful sophomore F1 season in 2014.

McLaren's Lando Norris is another to have opened up about mental health struggles, saying that he found it difficult to believe in himself during his debut season in F1, while Sebastian Vettel noted that sports stars should talk more openly about mental health, rather than it being seen as taboo or a sign of weakness.

Wolff opens up on past struggles

"If you've had events that were hard to take, whether it was some kind of rejection, humiliation, or [a feeling of inadequacy], all these happened to me when I was a kid, and then a young adult," Wolff told Channel 4.

"I believe that I'm trying to overcompensate that, and so I'm torn between this ambition that I have, and on the other side, my past and the vulnerability of the past.

"And I believe that, by being outspoken in the same way Lewis [Hamilton] is, and also Nico [Rosberg] has been, it's important to show that we are on telly and everything seems to be good for us.

"But the truth is you can't know what's behind the scenes, and all of us suffer to a certain degree, even whilst we live the Formula 1 dream.

"So be outspoken, seek help – you can't solve that with a mate over beer.

"That's why we want to be role models to encourage particularly men to go out and say 'I need help'.

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