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Cody Ware discusses mental health awareness

Every driver in NASCAR’s national ranks has a story, the details of the path that got them to that level. Those stories take hold, marking the key moments in the passage of time and in their own journey.

Telling the story of Cody Ware’s path not just to the NASCAR Cup Series but his growth to adulthood means acknowledging some hard truths and deep-rooted memories — that quote-unquote “real talk,” as it’s sometimes called. Those acknowledgements have gotten easier with each retelling through the years, and Ware has strived to use them as a positive — helping others and, in turn, healing himself.

“Honestly, for me it’s really easy now,” Ware says. “The biggest reason why I do it now isn’t for me, it’s for other people, so that other people who have had traumatic experiences or have dealt with things, whether their mental health issues have been with them since they were born, or coming from a bad experience. Just trying to tell my tale so that people don’t feel as alone, and that they can feel comfort in that it’s OK to not be OK, and to get help and to get better.”

Ware shared his story with NASCAR earlier this month, and his experiences with bullying in his youth and his walk with mental wellness are featured in a short film called, “The Battle Within.” The release coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month, a national movement to fight stigmas and offer support for individuals battling mental illness and their loved ones.

Read the full story at NASCAR.com.