Toto Wolff Speaks On Men’s Mental Health Issues.

Toto Wolff, team principal of Mercedes, has advised men to talk openly about mental health problems instead of suffering in silence.

Earlier this year, when Wolff disclosed that he had attended more than 500 hours of psychiatric therapy since 2004, he highlighted his issues with mental health and in reaction, rival team principal Christian Horner commended the Austrian for speaking up and bringing attention to the problem.

Along with Wolff, a number of other significant F1 figures have spoken up in the past 12 months about their mental health struggles.

In March, Lewis Hamilton admitted that he had found it difficult to be optimistic amid a challenging year for the world. His former teammate, Valtteri Bottas also admitted that he had experienced some mental health struggles during an otherwise excellent second F1 season in 2014.

Lando Norris is another figure who has spoken out about mental health issues. He said that during his rookie season in F1, it was difficult for him to believe in himself.

Sebastian Vettel has also encouraged athletes to talk more publicly about mental health issues rather than allowing them to be stigmatised or viewed as a sign of weakness.

While speaking with Channel 4, Wolff said: “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,” 

“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’.”