I suffered from mental illness for more than 15 years in silence before making the decision that I needed to get help. It was a decision that would ultimately save my life and leave me inspired to do something to bring awareness to mental health. More importantly, do something that has the power to inspire others suffering in silence to seek help and avoid becoming just a statistic.

When I was told by a psychiatrist in the psychiatric ward that due to my mental health I’d never golf again, I didn’t know how to respond at the time. It wasn’t until after I’d been released that I began having strong feelings about being told what my having bipolar disorder was and wasn’t going to allow me to do moving forward.

It ultimately drove me to approach the team at The Tour Performance LAB with the idea of The LAB Project; a project that would give everyone an inside look as I work with the Tour Performance LAB team to return to competitive golf. It would also give an inside look to the challenges I face on a daily basis on and off the golf course living with bipolar disorder.

A month into The LAB Project, I’ve already proven that psychiatrist wrong as the work I’ve done with the Tour Performance LAB team has only reinvigorated my passion for the game. The time in the gym with Lindsay Manion has addressed the weaknesses found during my TPI Screen. While the session I spent with Matt Palsenbarg opened my eyes to Vision 54 and how beneficial HeartMath training will be to both my golf game and my personal life. The tools I’ve been given have translated to more effective practice sessions, some of the best ball striking I’ve seen in years and a 360 approach to training that puts me in the best position to perform at the highest level.

The 360 approach to training has afforded me the opportunity to understand the best practices while training that will carry over to the golf course. For example, what’s best to eat and to drink which for me personally has been following the Paleo Diet Solution and using the BioSteel Sports Supplements line. It allows me to continue performing at the highest level without seeing the decrease in performance that inevitably brings my bipolar disorder to the forefront.

My bipolar disorder challenges my drive and my ability to consistently push the limits while I’m in the gym or putting in the time training when I’m away from The Tour Performance LAB. It’s going to be a long journey but it’s all worth it if I can bring awareness to mental health by inspiring others in a similar position to overcome their fears and chase their dreams. If The LAB Project can help to break the stigma attached to mental health, it’ll mean more to me than ultimately returning to playing competitive golf.

Follow along with The LAB Project here

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Matt Stansfield is a former PGA of Canada Class A Professional and has been involved in the golf industry for more than 10 years. Matt's passion and love for the game led to his launching Stansfield Golf and StansfieldGolf.com in August 2012. It is a golf website where Matt is dedicated to providing an all-access pass to all things golf with a focus on being directly accessible to you the reader.

Visit Stansfield Golf today www.stansfieldgolf.com


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  1. Thanks Blanco.

    I remember June 4th, 2012 for a few reasons:

    1. It’s my birthday
    2. I was in the psychiatric ward at Vancouver General Hospital
    3. The TV in the psych ward had the coverage of Glenn Close attending the world’s largest mental health conference as an advocate; as I recall, she’d been previously involved in an organization focused on mental health

    It was also a year where Catherine Zeta-Jones spoke out about being bipolar after the news became public. I applaud both for their respective work and hope it sets a precedent moving forward for other celebrities/public figures to get involved as well.

    I share in your sentiment that golf allows you to define yourself outside of your disease and as Blanco alluded to, also be accepted for a common love of the game.

    I’ll write more about The LAB Project here on GolfWRX but the regular updates can be found at http://www.stansfieldgolf.com/category/the-lab-project/


  2. Right on Matt– thanks for being outspoken about a topic most know nothing about, yet always seem to have an opinion on. Not quite sure why your psych would say golf is out of the question– but glad that you’ve been able to practice efficiently and tie an important awareness issue into the game of golf. Did you know that 2012 was the first year in history where a major American celebrity became a spokesperson for a mental health organization (Glen Close)? Really shows how taboo and stigmatized “mental illness” is in our society. Golf is the thing that allowed me to define myself outside of my disease. I’ll always be thankful for the game and how it’s helped improved my quality of life. Hope to read more about the program you’re involved in…

  3. I too was overly involved in keeping my diagnoses undercover. I did not see a link to subscribe to your Lab project so I will check in on your writings regularly, if I can remember. Thank you for reaching out with this issue,it is so major, as I have found the local track to be the only place I find fellowship and a commonality with others that allows me to be accepted and to feel comfortable being myself, Bless our game of golf for having, at least for the second time now, been the variable that I consider Life saving.
    Be Well/ Be Safe /N/ Be Happy!!!!! ONE!!!!!