Ex-Ohio State lineman Harry Miller gives message for those struggling with mental health

Miller has been open about his mental health struggles

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Former Ohio State offensive lineman Harry Miller has been open about his mental health struggles that led to his recent retirement from football.

On Monday, Miller appeared on NBC’s "Today" and explained why he decided to share with the world his struggles and delivered a message to anyone who is feeling the same as he is. Miller said he wasn’t trying to be brave but wanted to be open and honest about what he was going through.

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Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Harry Miller walks to the sidelines during the Big 10 Championship game against the Northwestern Wildcats on Dec. 19, 2020, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Harry Miller walks to the sidelines during the Big 10 Championship game against the Northwestern Wildcats on Dec. 19, 2020, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

"I would just say hope is just pretending to believe in something until one day you don't have to pretend anymore. And right now we have all the logic, all the rationale in the world to give up on it. And I just ask, pretend for a little bit, and then one day you won't have to pretend anymore and you'll be happy," he said.

"I'm so grateful. And I would just ask to keep pretending and then one day you won't have to, and you'll be so glad that you did. And that's the only advice I think I can muster."

Miller played four seasons on the Buckeyes’ offensive line. 

He said in a statement posted on his Twitter account earlier this month that he told Ohio State coach Ryan Day of his intention to commit suicide and Day put him in touch with some mental health professionals. He continued his collegiate career during the 2021 season.

OHIO STATE'S HARRY MILLER REVEALS MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLE, SUICIDE ATTEMPT

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Harry Miller in action during the Big Ten Championship game against the Northwestern Wildcats on Dec. 19, 2020, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Harry Miller in action during the Big Ten Championship game against the Northwestern Wildcats on Dec. 19, 2020, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

"After a few weeks, I tried my luck at football once again, with scars on my wrists and throat. Maybe the scars were hard to see with my wrists taped up," Miller’s statement read. "Maybe it was hard to see the scars through the bright colors of the television. Maybe the scars were hard to hear through all the talk shows and interviews. They are hard to see, and they are easy to hide, but they sure do hurt. There was a dead man on the television set, but nobody knew it.

"At the time, I would rather be dead than a coward. I'd rather be nothing at all, than have to explain everything that was wrong. I was planning on being reduced to my initials on a back of a helmet. I had seen people seek help before. I had seen the age-old adage of how our generation was softening by the second, but I can tell you my skin was tough. It had to be.. But it was not tougher than the sharp metal of my box cutter. And I saw how easy it was for people to dismiss others by talking about how they were just a dumb, college kid who didn’t know anything."

Miller said he will continue his studies in the college of engineering. He has a 4.0 GPA.

He said he was "grateful" for the programs Day put in place.

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Harry Miller against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game on Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Harry Miller against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game on Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

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"… And I am grateful that he is letting me find a new way to help others in the program. I hope athletic departments around the country do the same," Miller’s statement read. "If not for him and the staff, my words would not be a reflection. They would be evidence in a post-mortem."

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).