NBA star Kevin Love understands mental health struggles and the stigma around them firsthand and he wants to make sure the kids who also understand the struggles are able to get the help they need. The five-time All Star and Olympic gold medalist hid his struggles behind his public wins, but since 2018, through his foundation The Kevin Love Fund, he’s been inspiring others to live their healthiest lives both physically and mentally. He just announced a new program through his foundation that will help kids while in school.
Love Experienced Depression And Anxiety As A Teen
Love first experienced mental health struggles as a teen but was able to put his focus on basketball. In 2017, he experienced a panic attack during an NBA game. After that, he shared his challenges in a personal essay, “Everyone Is Going Through Something” in The Players’ Tribune. That led him to start The Kevin Love Fund, and now years later, a new program that will give teachers a free curriculum to help students fight mental health challenges.
A Panic Attack During A Game Led To The Essay
“It came about after my panic attack that you allude to in November 2017 when I had a panic attack on court. It was a very public moment, something I felt like I had to hide. Things got a lot worse before they got better,” Love told CBS News. “I started going to therapy, got my medication right, started doing the work on myself and then it wasn’t until March 2018 that I penned that essay.” The response Love got from the article was more than he expected. He got thousands of emails in just the first week after the article was published, and that led him to start his foundation to help others.
The School-Based Program Launches Next Month
The new program for schools will launch next month. “It’s really exciting to get this off the ground and have it be free to every school, every teacher, nationwide as of October,” he explained. “The most important thing for me is you don’t have to go down the hallway with this class. You don’t have to go down the hallway with this curriculum. The teachers are modeling vulnerability first and within the classroom your peers are allowed to share their stories. There are 14 different lesson plans.” The lessons are through different mediums to help it appeal to everyone.
Love Credits Fellow NBA Player With Being Able To Speak Up
When asked what Love would tell his younger self, he said, “you’re allowed to be vulnerable. As a young woman or young man, you’re allowed to be vulnerable.” He also explained that he’s not the first one to speak up about the struggles. “I wasn’t the first one. But for me, within my sport, it was DeMar DeRozan. I mean, without him, and him dipping his toe in, jumping in headfirst, if not for him, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here today sharing my story at the capacity, at the level I did.”
“This Is Real Stuff”
NBA star DeRozan opened up about his mental health struggles in early 2018 during an interview with the Toronto Star. “It’s one of them things that no matter how indestructible we look like we are, we’re all human at the end of the day,” he said. “This is real stuff. That’s why I look at every person I encounter the same way. I don’t care who you are. You can be the smallest person off the street or you could be the biggest person in the world, I’m going to treat everybody the same, with respect.”