Bills’ Jordan Poyer Opens Up About Addressing Personal Struggles

Jordan Poyer

Getty Bills safety Jordan Poyer.

Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer knows it’s been a difficult year for many in the Buffalo area, and he’s trying to do his part to help.

The Bills veteran was given the Advocacy Award at the Mental Health Associates Advocates Annual Dinner in Buffalo on May 4, opening up about his own struggles with mental health and addiction and his desire to help others.

The Bills team — and the entire city of Buffalo — have endured a year that was often harrowing, including the racially motivated shooting in the city last May that claimed 10 lives. The region was hit by a deadly blizzard in December that claimed more than three dozen lives, and the team was hit with its own adversity when safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field in a January 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

At the award ceremony this week, Poyer spoke about the importance of asking for help and earned some praise for his efforts in promoting mental health awareness.

Jordan Poyer Honored for Efforts to Address Mental Health

In accepting the award on Thursday, Poyer opened up about his own mental health issues and encouraged people to seek help when they need it.

“We all go through things,” he said, via WIVB in Buffalo. “Whether it is a friend or a teammate, brother or sister, it doesn’t matter. I think a lot of us have this stigma that we have to hold on to something. I don’t want to look like this — that’s our ego talking. I don’t want to be embarrassed to tell my friends I have an issue, whatever it is.”

Melinda DuBois, executive director for Mental Health Associates, said Poyer was a “role model” for the way he has spoken openly about his own struggles and encouraged others to do the same.

“What we’re really encouraging people to do is be able to talk about their own personal struggles,” DuBois said. “The more we talk about it, the less stigmatized it is. So we’re really honoring Jordan for his willingness to speak out.”

The Bills have adopted mental health awareness as a team effort as well, teaming up with the Buffalo Sabres and National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits to promote Mental Health Awareness Month.

Jordan Poyer Open About Struggles With Alcoholism

Poyer has been candid about his own personal struggles in the past, opening up in an emotional post in March 2021 about his decision to quit drinking. In the Instagram post, Poyer revealed that he fell into a dark place while dealing with the stress of his NFL career and the team’s playoff loss to the Houston Texans in 2020.

Poyer said he spiraled out of control to the point that he couldn’t be there for his family.

“I remember days she would cry because I just couldn’t put a beer down,” he wrote. “I remember not being able to play with [daughter] Aliyah cause I was too intoxicated. I remember feeling thoughts in my head; that would scare the hell out of sober me now.”

Poyer said he gave up drinking altogether, and the 2021 post on Instagram marked a full year of sobriety. The Bills safety said he also wanted to support others going through struggles, opening up his DMs to Bills fans or anyone else who wanted to talk.

“I’m writing this knowing there are others out there like me that realize they too need help,” he wrote.

Several took Poyer up on the offer, sharing some praise for his vulnerability and for taking the time to connect with all who reached out to him.

In accepting the Advocacy Award this week, Poyer said he hopes to continue to help.

“I’m here to continue to shed light,” Poyer said, via WIVB. “To be that light for this community.”

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