The NBA is addressing mental health in basketball
The NBA has joined the players’ union and launched a mental wellness program called NBA Cares. The program was created to provide players with a safe space to open up about their struggles with mental health.
“We always preach eating healthy, exercising, being an elite athlete,” DeRozan told the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper, but with all that pressure “we don’t really look at the mental-health aspect first and foremost, somebody’s everyday life.”
“You never know where we’ve grown up and where we’ve come from before we made it – that could be dwelling on us.”
The Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan and Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Love are trying to jump-start the program to provide players with the support they need. In their promotional video, Kevin Love says “ Everyone walks around with something that you can’t see – The best thing I did was to come out and say hey I need some help.”
‘If you’re suffering silently like I was then you know how it can feel like nobody really gets it,’ Love wrote in his stirring piece The Players’ Tribune. “Partly, I want to do it for me, but mostly, I want to do it because people don’t talk about mental health enough. And men and boys are probably the farthest behind.”
The ‘NBA Cares’ includes three steps towards approaching mental health;
In order to become more educated on the topic, the NBA provides resources. They provide information on how to recognise stress, anxiety, depression, and manage it. They encourage communication and provide readers with two online communication platforms. The last step highlights the importance of practising and caring for yourself, by maintaining your physical and emotional health.
DeMar DeRozan thoughtfully says; “Never be ashamed of wanting to be a better you.” Love and DeRozan are taking the initiative to provide people with the means to do so, in a safe and supportive space. The NBA program supports ‘fans, families, and communities by promoting healthy minds and bodies and increasing awareness around emotional well-being.’
If you or someone you know needs help immediately, you should visit here to get help now.