Athletes & Celebs Face The Same Challenges We Do

Check out these two slides – both stories that came out within the past 24 hours…might seem like they are completely different angles of the same topic, but actually very closely related.
 
First is a story about how NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan believes there are many in the league who self-medicate with substances.
 
Though I worked for the League at the main office and then for teams for many years, I’m sharing this statement/opinion as a mental health advocate, not a long-tenured pro sports exec: DeMar is absolutely right. You know why he’s right? Because athletes are NO different than the rest of us. Over 400 NBA players, stress, past trauma, difficult upbringings, performance expectations, etc. – does NOT matter that they make millions of $’s. They are people. People go through challenges, and people self medicate – whether they are rich and famous, or whether they are average joes.
 
We don’t educate ppl as to how to heal, so they turn to substances. When are we going to realize this is NOT a player story, this is not a “celeb” story, this is an EVERYONE story? If you click on the link to this particular DeRozan story, even in uncovering that this article resonates with the masses, guess how the article ends? “It’s estimated 1 in 5 people have…” We are sweeping under the rug the ACTUAL issue – this is a topic for us ALL.
 
Next comes the Cosmo tweet: “For every person who dies by suicide, there are 280 who decide not to go through with it (according to @CDCgov and @SAMHSAgov).”
 
Stats like THESE are what is needed. We hear about the Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain stories, but the # who suffer who have these thoughts should help us realize that 1 in 5 stat is 1) not accurate, and 2) far from the full picture/grossly underestimates the larger issue. Thank you @cosmopolitan for shedding light on such an important topic.

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