World Mental Health Day
Today (10 October) is World Mental Health Day. Earlier this week, former Motorsport UK Academy driver Lando Norris opened up about his mental health struggles after becoming the youngest British racing driver to enter Formula 1® with McLaren back in 2019.
It would be easy to assume Lando has everything he could want; he has secured his first Formula 1® pole position in his third season with the iconic papaya team and is currently fourth in the driver standings. But during his live interview with This Morning on Monday, Lando spoke candidly about the realities of being a racing driver that many fans may not be aware of despite the increase in behind-the-scenes content. He described the pressure and stress drivers have to cope with, particularly at race weekends and feeling depressed and anxious with sleepless nights if he had a bad result that led him to question if he was good enough to be in the sport. Adding to that, the comments he could read on social media started to hurt and take their toll.
With all eyes on him, Lando has used the pandemic and his Twitch account consisting of 1.1 million followers to open up about the scale of the difficulties he faced in his rookie season, promoting the notion that it’s OK not to be OK. Over the last three years, the British driver has realised the positive influence and impact he can have on people worldwide and how the more people he can make smile, the happier he is. The more he can do that, the more he can help them and the better his mental health is.
Mental health is just like physical health: everyone has it and we need to take care of it. And while today is raising awareness of the national day, it is essential to consider doing something for you every day, not just for today. If you are struggling with your mental health, please do not struggle alone. Reach out to someone you can talk to in the same way Lando has with his McLaren team, family and friends, and mental health awareness charity, Mind.
You can watch the Best of British: F1 Rising Star Lando Norris feature on demand by visiting the This Morning YouTube channel. Family and friends can also visit this section of the Motorsport UK website to read the recommended resources, guidance and tips.