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Simone Biles of Team USA in action during the Women's balance beam final. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

U.S. gymnast Simone Biles plans to raise awareness around mental health as part of the post-Olympic Gold Over America Tour, AP reports.

Driving the news: Biles didn't have the Olympic experience she expected after pulling out of several finals to prioritize her mental health. But she says she wouldn't "change anything for the world," adding that she "gave an outlet for athletes to speak up about their mental health and their well-being and learn that you can put yourself (as a person) first before the athlete,” per AP.

  • Biles also said the support she's received since returning from Tokyo has been similar to what she got when she brought home five medals, including four golds, from the 2016 Olympics. "It's been so supportive, so loving, which I really wasn't expecting," Biles said, per AP.

The big picture: The post-Olympic tour is a 35-city exhibition that kicks off in Tucson, Arizona, on Sept. 21.

  • The tour will feature gymnastics and dance but also a segment led by former UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi on the importance of taking care of yourself mentally, per AP.
  • Biles, who's a headliner for the tour, said they wanted to make it "as relatable as possible and let these kids know that we’ve been going through these things,” AP reports.
  • Biles' Olympic teammates Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey, among other gymnasts, will also join the tour.

Go deeper: Simone Biles' exit brings global attention to mental health

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Oct 30, 2021 - Health

Tech is going all-in on mental health

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios; Photos: Universal History Archive via Getty Images

More and more, our mental health care is being delivered using tech solutions like smartphone apps, AI-powered chatbots and wearables — especially since the start of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Technology has its flaws, but experts say it has been critical in addressing some of the obstacles in access to mental health care: too few providers and too little insurance coverage.

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

The kids really aren't OK

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The number of children struggling with mental health issues has skyrocketed amid the pandemic, and the crisis isn't abating as life returns to normal.

Why it matters: Many children won't just bounce back to normal on their own, experts say, and will need additional care and support in their homes, schools and broader communities.

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

The mental health system is buckling under pandemic demand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There's been a drastic increase in the number of Americans who need mental health care, putting even more stress on a system that was already strained by the significantly lower pre-pandemic demand.

Between the lines: In a competition for scarce resources, the most vulnerable people — particularly those who don't have access to care or can't afford it — are most likely to lose out.