Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer has always had a passion for setting a positive example for others, whether it be his teammates, family & friends, or those in the Buffalo community that look up to him.
On Thursday night, Poyer was given the 2023 Advocacy Award by the Mental Health Advocates of Western New York for his outstanding dedication to promoting mental health awareness.
"All I've ever wanted to do is help people whether that was coaching kids football, chatting about football or even just sharing my knowledge about life and the things I've gone through in life," Poyer said during his acceptance speech at The Powerhouse in Buffalo.
Poyer's willingness to share his own story and be an advocate for changing the stigma around mental health has made an impact on multiple communities in Western New York.
Back in 2021 is when Poyer first spoke out about his struggles with mental health and his personal ‘rock bottom’ in The Players Tribune. Poyer admitted to his battle with alcoholism while also acknowledging it's okay to to ask for help during those struggles.
"Jordan's courage has not only touched the lives of fans and supporters, but it has also created a ripple effect encouraging others to share their own stories and receive the support they deserve," said MHA executive director Melinda C. Dubois.
"Understand that it's okay to ask for help," Poyer said. "We got to learn how to love ourselves and love each other. That was my biggest issue was I didn't know how to love myself."
"When I stopped drinking alcohol, I had such a bigger purpose, there was a bigger purpose to my life."
Poyer believes that one of the best ways others can promote positive values surrounding mental health is to put out loving energy to others because you never know who around you might be struggling.
"I'm not perfect, at all. I continue to find my higher self, continue to get my higher self to share that love. And I encourage all of us to continue to do those things," Poyer said. "Smile, tell someone you love them, ask someone how their day is. You never know how far the energy goes."
Poyer, 32, is back in Buffalo after agreeing to a new contract with the team this offseason. The veteran safety was all smiles Thursday night as he received the Advocacy Award in front of approximately 400 people who attended the event.
"This is exactly where I'm supposed to be," Poyer said. "I am really honored to have this award."