San Francisco Giants' Drew Robinson wants to 'bridge gap' between players as mental health advocate

ByReggie Aqui and Kayla Galloway KGO logo
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Giants' Drew Robinson talks new role as mental health advocate
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These days, former San Francisco Giants minor leaguer Drew Robinson relies on the support of his family and those around him more than ever.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- These days, former San Francisco Giants minor leaguer Drew Robinson relies on the support of his family and those around him more than ever.

The 29-year-old survived a suicide attempt last year that took his right eye.

Robinson has since joined the Giants as a mental health advocate where he's working to create a more comfortable space for players to be transparent about their mental health.

"(I'll be) bridging the gap between the players and their teams for trying to create a more comfortable space and a comfortable reach-out process for the players," he told ABC7 in an interview on Thursday.

Robinson returned to the field this spring, one year after his suicide attempt, joining the Giants Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats.

RELATED: Mental Health Resources in the Bay Area

"It was mostly amazing," he said. "I worked so hard to get back to that point. When I stepped back and realized what I'd accomplished, it was one of the coolest and most powerful things I've ever done."

He said after his near-death experience, he thought he "had it all figured out" in terms of his mental health.

He returned to everyday life and baseball, though still encountered adversities

"I realized I wasn't as fixed or cured from a mental standpoint as I thought," Robinson said.

He said after the suicide attempt, he was in a very controlled, positive environment.

But resuming day-to-day life was still filled with ups and downs, he said.

"I've realized it's not going to ever go completely away," he said.

RELATED: Suicide Prevention: Local resources for those in crisis

That's where his family came in.

"Talking to someone is the biggest separator for me," Robinson said.

For the former baseball player, going through something so traumatic allowed him to open up to his family in a way he wasn't able to do in the years before.

Before his suicide attempt, he said he let things "build up."

"As ugly of an incident it was, it's created some pretty beautiful things because I've gotten to know my family on a deeper level this last year than the 28 years prior," Robinson said.

"I really rely on my support system a lot," he went on to say.

With the Giants, he hopes to create peer-group programs that allow athletes to discuss their mental health in a more comfortable way.

He also wants to bring service dogs into minor league clubhouses.

Watch the entire interview with ABC7's Reggie Aqui and Giants' Drew Robinson in the media player above.

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

WATCH: Your Mental Health - A Bay Area Conversation

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