In March 2018, Love detailed in The Players Tribune his battle with depression and anxiety.
“Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are. This is an everyone thing. No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside,” Love wrote in his piece.
In addition to his experience, Love thanked current San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan for giving him the inspiration to come forward about depression. DeRozan should be applauded for describing his experience with depression; something I know can’t be easy to admit.
Professional athletes have the ability to serve as role models for their community and fans; Love is a prime example of an athlete using his voice to encourage others to use theirs.
Love continues to be an inspiring role-model for everyone struggling with mental health; furthermore, he’s become one of the leading voices in pushing for mental health advocacy.
Since 1996, every Oct. 10 is dedicated as World Mental Health Day. On Oct. 10, Love announced the launch of the Kevin Love Fund. According to Kaelen Jones of Sports Illustrated, the fund is described as “a trust focused on helping people improve their physical and mental well-being.”
Importance of the fund
In an article published by For the Win of USA Today, writer Hemal Jhaveri interviewed Love about his mental health fund and his partnership with the application, Headspace.
According to the article, Headspace “provides guided meditations aimed at helping reduce stress, anxiety and depression.”
As part of his initial contribution, the Kevin Love Fund sent 850 Headspace subscriptions to all UCLA student-athletes and coaches. The fund will also provide in-person mental training sessions for the athletes and coaches, according to Sports Illustrated.
It’s one thing to talk about issues surrounding mental health; it’s another thing to dedicate yourself to the cause. Love, 30, who will enter his 11th NBA season, obviously won’t play basketball his entire life; however, he should continue to inspire the community of those dealing with the serious issues of anxiety and depression.
In his interview with Sports Illustrated, Love said; “I feel like I’ve found my life’s work, and that helps my mental well-being, to know that I can help people. I turned 30 and was like, ‘Wow, I feel like I know what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.’ I know that after basketball, at the end of the day, I have this.”
Love is an all-star player on the basketball player, but his work off the court should get more attention. Basketball is just a game, but mental health could make the difference between life and death.
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