After winning an NBA Championship, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love left a regular season game last year against the Atlanta Hawks to head back to the locker room. Love wasn’t going to the locker room because he was injured – he was leaving the game because he was having a panic attack.
Think of DeMar DeRozan too, an NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs. He won a Gold Medal with Team USA during the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he makes an average salary of $27,800,000 a year. Despite the Gold Medal and the high pay, DeRozan has struggled with depression. Last year, DeRozan tweeted “This depression gets the best of me…” In an interview, he said he’s struggled with depression since he was young. He believes he is standoffish, but he is like that to cope with what he struggles with.
So why would two NBA players who have accolades and money struggle with their mental health? The answer is simple – it’s something that impacts people all across the country.
According to Mental Health Colorado, around 250,000 Coloradans suffer from a severe mental illness such as bipolar disorder and depression.
In Eagle County, Colorado, the area is known for the Vail Ski Resort, a popular destination. However, things aren’t always bright and happy in the area. Eagle County has around 55,000 people living in the area, but the area averages one suicide attempt per day. One in four of the area’s seventh and eighth graders thought about committing suicide last year, according to a Health Kids Colorado Survey. Last year, 17 people killed themselves in Eagle County.
Colorado spends around $1 billion on behavioral health, equating to around one-thirtieth of the state’s budget. On April 8, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced the creation of Colorado’s Behavioral Health Task Force. The committee will evaluate and create a roadmap to work toward bettering Colorado’s behavioral health system. Colorado’s Behavioral Health Task Force is preparing to release a blueprint by June of next year with the goal of implementing the plan by the beginning of next July.
Everyone needs a little help sometimes, and it’s okay to realize that. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health, here are some resources that are easily available.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you, or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The line offers free and confidential support.
Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado
Counseling for individuals and families can be had at the Children’s Hospital Colorado. To schedule an appointment, or learn more contact 720-777-6200.
Safe2Tell is a resource for students, parents and others to anonymously report something that is concerning, or threatening. The resource has stopped some from committing suicide, and it can also be used to get help with bullying, or drug use. To reach Safe2Tell contact 1-877-542-7233.