Believe in Progress: an AACR Foundation Podcast

Believe in Progress: an AACR Foundation Podcast

007: Marcus Smith II - Finding Help to Battle Anxiety and Depression

September 13, 2023

On this episode, we are speaking with Marcus Smith II, to to coincide with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Picture spending years tirelessly striving to play in the National Football League and then, in 2014, following years of dedication, you get picked in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. It's a day that tops all others in your life.

Time passes and the strain escalates. Eventually, anxiety becomes so overwhelming that you try to end your own life. Such is the tale of Marcus Smith II, a former Philadelphia Eagle and a veteran of six NFL seasons. 

Marcus Smith II is a professional athlete, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and guest speaker dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental health, especially in professional sports. In addition to playing in the NFL, he creates opportunities for single mothers and their children through his foundation, MII, and seeks to improve the world through the written and spoken word.

A Georgia native, Marcus battled anxiety and depression from an early age. He struggled with these unwanted yet ever-present companions well into adulthood and even contemplated taking his own life. Nevertheless, he overcame all odds to become one of the best football players in the world.

As a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2014, he went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins. Marcus has touched countless lives along his football journey, his faith always at the forefront of his life. He is committed to helping others overcome their mental health struggles and believes his story can inspire them to get the help they need.

Here is more information about Marcus Smith II's MII Foundation:

Marcus Smith II started The MII Foundation in 2016. Named for its founder, MII’s mission is to improve the quality of life for single parents, at-risk youth, and the underprivileged by providing opportunities to enhance personal growth, build self-confidence, and gain valuable knowledge.

MII is a village for the voiceless, a shelter for those stuck in the storm. To support its mission, the foundation hosts sporting events, dinners, galas, and family-centric experiences built on friendship, support, and compassion for others. Marcus has hosted his Annual 7v7 tournament in his hometown—Columbus, Georgia—for the last three years, as eight local high schools compete for a grand prize of $1,000 and football accessories. George Washington Carver won the most recent tournament in 2019.

Visit for more information.

This is the Believe in Progress podcast hosted by the AACR Foundation and featuring Marcus Smith II.

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