Kevin Love of the Cavaliers
Since he revealed his struggles with depression and anxiety to the world, Kevin Love has become a vocal figure on the topic of mental health. He has been a huge advocate for the cause and is currently working to help students in school across the country as well as helping young athletes in need of mental health support.
The Cavaliers star has opened up about his struggles with depression and even admitted to having thoughts of suicide, in an effort to bring awareness to this serious issue that affects one in five American adults each year. But speaking about his struggles with depression and his battles with anxiety has helped him to feel much better emotionally.
Now, he wants to help young players as well as coaches understand the importance of being mentally prepared for their games and what they can do to keep themselves from falling apart during tough times. The former Timberwolves star has established a new foundation to work with partners like Bring Change to Mind and the Just Keep Living Foundation to help young athletes learn about their own mental wellness.
He has also launched a social-emotional learning curriculum to be taught in schools and after-school programs nationwide. The curriculum is free and is customized by Kevin’s team to fit the needs of each individual student, allowing them to discuss their feelings and learn how to deal with them in a healthy way.
With his leadership role both on and off the court, Love is also a great example of how an athlete can lead by example. He was a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ version of the Big 3 with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, a group that was known for ensuring camaraderie and teamwork existed off the court, too.
When he was playing for the Timberwolves, Love had an experience that could have cost him his life. During his time with the team, he almost died after an intense battle with depression.
In his recent interview with The Players Tribune, Love talked about this experience. He said that he was paralyzed with depression and hardly left his apartment to go anywhere because of it. He was afraid he would end up dying, but was able to call his parents and friends for support and was able to get through it.
After Love was diagnosed with depression, he went through therapy and he started practicing yoga. He also joined a meditation app called Headspace.
During his time with the Cavs, he also tried to lead by example in terms of promoting mental health to his teammates and to other players. He is now a member of the NBA Mental Health Initiative, an organization that works to educate players about their mental health and how to support each other when they are struggling.
In addition to his involvement with the NBA, Kevin also works with UCLA to promote mental health awareness for student-athletes. This year, he donated a yearlong Headspace subscription to all of the university’s student-athletes and coaches.