Paul George, professional NBA basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers and an eight-time NBA All-Star, recently opened up about his struggles with mental health. George emphasizes the importance of seeking mental health care while also encouraging his audience to ask for help in times of struggle. Below are some key takeaways from George's story...
"I had to raise my hand and surrender... and say hey, I need help. That was the first step to getting better"
While encountering struggles with his own mental health, George asked for help. Speaking to a professional therapist helped George navigate the stressors he was feeling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the NBA's bubble facility.
"There is pressure and stress in being an athlete, and there is also a stigma when it comes to athletes and their mental health"
George reflects on the stress which comes from the expectation to perform at an elite level in front of millions of fans. In this sort of profession, any sort of mistake or misstep is often ridiculed and amplified via social media.
"There is a lack of understanding and awareness on how to get help, who to talk to and who you can trust to open up to about mental challenges"
George discusses how a stigma exists among athletes where asking for help is a sign of weakness. Vulnerability, however, is a sign of strength. According to George, identifying the need for intervention and seeking help for your mental health will only make you stronger.
"Raising awareness, destigmatizing and providing access to professional care are all essential to solving the mental health crisis that so many are facing across our communities"
George recently partnered with BetterHelp to create awareness for mental health care and work to provide more affordable access to mental health care. As George so seamlessly concludes, "We’re all human, and we’re all in this together. When it comes to mental health, understanding that none of us are superheroes is a great place to start."