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'Sometimes you just have to do things scared': Nate Hobbs shares his mental health journey with Las Vegas community


Nate Hobbs no longer sees being vulnerable as a weakness, but something that holds power.

That's the message the Raiders cornerback conveyed to an intimate crowd at Pearson Community Center in North Las Vegas on Thursday. He spoke on a panel along with three mental health specialists in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southern Nevada.

Being in this setting would've been extremely uncomfortable for him a few years ago. It was still a bit jarring for him even in the moment, getting emotional numerous times as he reflected on his battles with his mental health. Despite being a starter for the Las Vegas Raiders, he made it clear that he has the same day-to-day pressures and anxiety as anyone else.

"The fact that I'm able to sit in front of plethora of people and tell them about my emotions, that gives me strength," Hobbs said. "I'm willing to put myself out there and still live life. My mom used to always tell me, 'Sometimes you just have to do things scared.'"

Hobbs shared his journey with battling anxiety, stemming from losing his father at a young age and trying to make it in the NFL. Hobbs described himself as someone who always tried to be there for others, even if that meant sometimes neglecting his own needs.

Over the past few years, Hobbs has made addressing his mental health a priority, with the birth his of daughter being a driving factor.

"Everybody deals with mental health, me and you, no matter how well you had it," said Hobbs. "Some people deal with it more than others, some people need real help. If I can be that voice, I will."

Hobbs mother, Denisa, who is a therapist, was also in attendance. When her son was presented with the opportunity to speak at this event, she believed it was a great way to give back to his community and more importantly, to continue putting an end to mental health stigmas in the world of professional sports.

"For us and our family, to talk about feelings and being open and vulnerable is something that we've always done," said Denisa. "I'm super proud of Nathan just because he loves people and community. I'm proud of him for the fact that he does not forget that there are people that can't always reach him, so he'll come to them."

Hobbs' passion to continue reaching out to others stems from not taking his platform for granted. He now finds himself in a position beyond his wildest dreams, and hopes to help others reach the same heights.

"I couldn't see this far," he said in closing in front of an inspired crowd. "Growing up, I saw the NFL on TV and that's about it. It's not that I didn't believe in myself, I just didn't think I would have the opportunity to see myself in that way. So, if you just trust yourself and have faith and courage in yourself in whatever you're doing, especially with your mental health, and seeing yourself on the other side – the sky is the limit."

View team photographer Matt Aguirre's best photos from the catwalk at Allegiant Stadium from the Raiders' 2023 season.

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