NFL Legend Herschel Walker tackles stigma of mental illness

NFL Legend Herschel Walker tackles stigma of mental illness

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As any true football fan would know, Herschel Walker can outrun just about anything.

The Heisman Trophy winner and collegiate Hall of Fame running back said Wednesday, mental illness is not one of them.

Walker spoke before an Air Force crowd at Joint Base Charleston, urging service members not to be afraid to seek help. The NFL legend shared his personal struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder.

"If you have a message that can help someone, you shouldn't hide it," he said.

Walker said he realized he needed help, after learning his ex-wife was fearful of him.  Today, he says he's "healthy as a horse," thanks to medical science and a strong faith in God.

"A strong man is not a man that doesn't want to admit he has faults, but a man that can look at his faults and make them better."

Colonel Judith Hughes, Medical Group Commander at Joint Base Charleston, said having a celebrity of Walker's caliber will only reinforce a message she's constantly trying to deliver.

"Just like my kids, they don't listen to mom, but they'll listen to others," she said.

A recent Air Force Surgeon General Report says 25 percent of all airman seek some type of health care for mental health disorders.

Copyright WCSC 2014. All rights reserved.