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Roza Receiving Treatment for Depression, “Feeling Positive About Progress”

November 16, 2021 by
Photo credit: Courtesy of Eric Roza
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Today, CrossFit’s CEO Eric Roza sent an email to all CrossFit employees and affiliate owners revealing that he has been undergoing treatment for depression, the Morning Chalk Up has learned. CrossFit confirmed the validity of the email which went out this morning, however, no additional details were provided regarding the treatment or its length except that Roza would be increasingly more “engaged over the coming weeks.”

  • Roza: “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.”

One big thing: Roza made it clear in the email that his intention in making his struggles with depression public is to “destigmatize mental health issues” and also encourage others who are struggling to seek appropriate treatment. 

  • CrossFit Home Office offers comprehensive mental health benefits, short and long-term disability, and unlimited PTO to support employees’ wide-ranging personal needs, according to a spokesperson. 

The big picture: It’s unclear exactly how long Roza has been undergoing treatment as the nature of his role doesn’t necessarily put him in the daily spotlight. His last major public appearances came during the launch of CrossFit Precision Care in early October. 

  • In the last month, CrossFit launched the Affiliate Partner Network, expanded access to the Affiliate Toolkit, and published the earliest release of the full CrossFit Games season calendar indicating CrossFit’s ability to operate at a high level during this time. 
  • Roza: “These last few weeks have reinforced how strong our team is — leaders stepped up immediately, and we didn’t miss a beat.”

The full text of the email is below:

Team,

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.

– e

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