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Former NFL player tackles mental health with Men of Westfield

November 17, 2023

Nick Hardwick, a central Indiana native and former Purdue Boilermaker, recently launched a group called the Men of Westfield. The group, which began in May, provides a forum for men to open up about their mental health issues.

After a successful career as a center at Purdue, Hardwick played 11 seasons for the San Diego Chargers, and was a team captain for five of those seasons.

Hardwick is an assistant coach on the Westfield High School football team. But like most middle-aged men, he had a difficult time transitioning to a new career once his playing days were over.

Hardwick said men often suppress their emotions especially when balancing the challenges of work and family life.

The group recently had its first meeting; about 30 people attended. Hardwick decided to set the tone by sharing his experiences. “I shared and became very vulnerable amongst a bunch of men I didn’t really know. I knew some but didn’t really know a bunch of them, but I think, for me, that’s the best way to build a connection is to become vulnerable to open yourself up.”

The Men of Westfield will meet again at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Motor District, an automobile storage facility in Westfield. It’s northwest of the roundabout at West 176th Street and Ditch Road. Register online to attend the meeting.

At the meeting, donations will be taken to support mental health and food insecurity in the Westfield Washington Schools district.