The mind is a powerful thing. So powerful, in fact, that it can cause you to overthink just about everything. While the coronavirus pandemic has caused many to worry about the present and future, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love is stressing the importance of mental health and wellness during this stressful time.
"Listen, I don't have all the answers -- and likely never will," Love said, according to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan. "But speaking from experience, I can tell you there are resources out there that can help you.
"It's really scary what's going on in the world right now. But you don't have to suffer through it alone. Take it from someone who did that for far too long."
Love opened up about his struggles with mental health in 2018 during an interview with ESPN and detailed a severe panic attack he had during a matchup with the Atlanta Hawks. That interview changed how many people view mental illnesses, and allowed more athletes to step forward and discuss their own struggles with mental health.
Approximately 46.6 million people are living with mental illness in the United States, according to Athletes for Hope, and 35% of elite athletes suffer from some sort of mental health struggle whether it be stress, eating disorders, burnout, depression, anxiety or any of the over 200 classified forms of mental illness.
Michael Phelps, Joey Votto, Daniel Carcillo, Delonte West, Greg Stiemsma, Oscar De La Hoya, David Freese and Brandon Marshall are among the many athletes who have opened up about their difficulties with mental illnesses in the past, and many of them also have sought help for their battles.
One of the players who hasn't sought much help is former NBA player Delonte West. In January, an upsetting video showing West struggling on the streets of Maryland surfaced. West, who is homeless and has known mental health issues, was videoed being beaten up and having no way out. The 36-year-old admitted in the past that he abused prescription drugs and was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In 2018 the National Basketball Player’s Association (NBPA) launched a mental health and wellness program to provide players with greater access to mental health counselors. Similarly, the NBA has transformed its Rookie Transition Program to place a greater emphasis on mental health education.
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