The CEO of CrossFit, Eric Roza, contacted all CrossFit employees and Affiliate owners to explain his recent absence from the scene, stating he has been undergoing treatment for depression.
Roza, who officially took over CrossFit in July 2020, specified he is sharing this information to destigmatise mental health issues and encourage others to seek appropriate treatment and speak out.
“While it is uncomfortable for me to be this transparent about my journey, I’ve decided to discuss this openly rather than avoiding these tough conversations, so my experience can help destigmatize mental health issues and foster healing,” Roza wrote.
He goes on to provide more context to the condition, citing global statistics and alluding to the possible fatal consequences it can have. He encourages anyone with depression, as well as people close to it, to not to wait to ask for or provide help.
Read his full email below:
As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been around as much as usual over the past few weeks, and I wanted to share the reason why. I have been taking some time to seek treatment for depression.
Nearly 300 million people suffer from depression, and COVID has accelerated this global crisis, with depression rates tripling in the US. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide, and it has hit close to home for far too many of us, including those in the CrossFit Home Office, following the death of Chad Peyton earlier this year.
Heredity is one of depression’s leading causes. My father struggled with depression in silence with limited treatment options and significant cultural stigma throughout his life. I have a lot to be thankful for, but I have not been spared some of the challenges he faced.
While it is uncomfortable for me to be this transparent about my journey, I’ve decided to discuss this openly rather than avoiding these tough conversations, so my experience can help destigmatize mental health issues and foster healing.
There are many others who continue to struggle in shame or silence, so if you or someone in your life is dealing with depression, please don’t wait to ask for or provide help. Reach out to your manager or our HR team, so we can support you and help you get the resources you need.
More broadly, I am grateful for the role that CrossFit has played in assisting those dealing with conditions such as depression, PTSD, addiction, and anxiety, and I look forward to building on that work together. There are endless examples of CrossFit’s positive impact on mental health in gyms around the world, and I have personally benefited from both the workouts and the support of the community during my own journey. In addition, events such as last weekend’s Chad 1000x help raise both funds and awareness for impacted members of our community.
On a personal level, I want to thank you for your commitment to CrossFit, your friendship, and your hard work. These last few weeks have reinforced how strong our team is — leaders stepped up immediately, and we didn’t miss a beat.
While the path is not always easy, I’m feeling positive about my progress, and I will be increasingly engaged over the coming weeks. In the interim, I deeply appreciate your support, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Roza first sent this email to the company’s employees and then shared it with CrossFit’s estimated 14,000 affiliate gym owners.
If you or someone you know are dealing with depression these Global Mental Health Resources might be of help: https://checkpointorg.com/global/
- Eric-Roza-Shares-Depression-Journey: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.