Thielen Foundation Unveils New Workout Space at Hospital’s Mental Health Unit

“When we first started our foundation, we didn’t really have a whole lot of connection to any specific cause. We just knew we wanted to make a difference and try to help in the community – this community that’s done so much for us,” Adam said. “And then sure enough, once we partnered with [M Health Fairview] and specifically mental health, we realized there were [people close to us] going through some mental health issues and were ready to open up and talk about it. And through our foundation, they’ve actually gotten a lot of help.

“It’s crazy how that happens. We don’t feel like that happens by chance. We feel like God has done that in our lives and pushed us in that direction,” Adam added. “What a great start and an opportunity for these kids to be able to be active.”

Heinz thanked Adam for being willing to use his NFL platform as a way to discuss mental health and break down stigma around the topic.

Adam pointed out that awareness continues to grow, and he and his teammates can play a part in that.

“People coming out and talking about it has been awesome to see. The Vikings have done a great job of sharing guys’ stories [through the Getting Open series], which I think has been phenomenal,” he said. “Because especially in a football locker room, guys want to be tough. And they don’t want to share their issues.

“But when people are able to open up and talk about it, it just makes others feel like, ‘Oh, I’m not the only one going through something’; ‘If an NFL football player is going through that and can be open about it, I can be the same way. I can talk to my parents, I can talk to my family,’ ” Adam continued. “We can hopefully help limit the people who are in these in-patient facilities – but when they are here, give them resources to help them get better.”

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