Former NFL WR Charles Johnson- Taking a Deeper Dive into Mental Health Awareness

This past tuesday we learned of the Death By Suicide of Former NFL Wide Receiver Charles Johnson after the North Carolina Medical Examiners office confirmed a suicide from overdose.

Johnson was found dead in a hotel room in Raleigh after his wife had reported him missing. Officers responded to a welfare check after Johnson had not checked out of the room and found him unresponsive on the bed.

The 50-year-old was pronounced dead on the scene. An autopsy revealed he had oxycodone, hydrocodone and mirtazapine in his system at the time of his death, though he had no active prescriptions, according to a query of the North Carolina Prescription Monitoring Service.

Johnson spent nine seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills from 1994-2002. He won a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2002 and racked up 4,606 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns during his career.



Years before his death, Johnson said he “suffered from brain, head, spine and neck injuries” from his time in the NFL, per Schrotenboer.He filed a workers’ compensation case against the Steelers in 2009, saying he suffered numerous injuries, including issues with his hearing, sleep and “neuro/psyche,” according to records obtained by Schrotenboer.

Those records also indicated that Johnson was permanently disabled from football. The Steelers denied the claims, but the sides reached a $150,000 settlement in 2013.

The North Carolina native starred for Colorado during his college football days. The Steelers selected him in the first round of the 1994 NFL draft.


We are here to listen and learn and support you on your journey

Realizing what Mental Health Issues look like can be difficult but as you can see from the moments leading up to Mr. Johnsons passing, it helps individuals to discuss and process their feelings and to work towards the identification of triggers for feelings of distress and unease in a safe and supportive environment.




Many times those that need Psychotherapy wont communicate and perhaps hide that they need the help to develop healthy coping strategies to improve overall functioning. Specific approaches may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, coherence therapy, humanistic approaches, or others based on a person’s specific goals.

Our clinicians take an evidence-based approach to managing each person’s presenting concerns and many of our clinicians are trained in specific targeted treatment modalities for a broad range of diagnoses. These services can be provided via telehealth or in-person depending on a person’s specific needs.

If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 for 24/7 access to a trained counselor. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741741. For more information about ongoing support and mental health resources, contact the HelpLine at the National Alliance on Mental Illness by calling 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or emailing