Zoe McBride was set to make her debut at the Tokyo Olympics this week. But five months ago she announced a shock retirement, revealing she had been struggling with disordered eating and depression. She now hopes to spread awareness and prevent the same thing happening in younger athletes.

“I did lose my period. I guess I didn’t understand that that was a bad thing. I remember hearing and reading that if you lost your period that means you’ve trained really hard.”

She’s one of a number of female athletes like Silver Fern Maia Wilson and triathlete Andrea Hewit speaking out about disordered eating and mental health.

More stories:

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How learning te reo Māori helped me heal my mental health

Where to ask for help.

Mental health:

  • 1737: The nationwide, 24/7 mental health support line. Call or text 1737 to speak to a trained counsellor.
  • Suicide Crisis Line: Free call 0508 TAUTOKO or 0508 828 865. Nationwide 24/7 support line operated by experienced counsellors with advanced suicide prevention training. 
  • Youthline: Free call 0800 376 633, free text 234. Nationwide service focused on supporting young people.
  • OUTLine NZ: Freephone 0800 OUTLINE (0800 688 5463). National service that helps LGBTIQ+ New Zealanders access support, information and a sense of community.
  • Healthline: 0800 611 116.
  • Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand: phone 0800 2 EDANZ / 0800 2 33269 or contact them via their websiteHealthline: 0800 611 116.