ON KEVIN LOVE:
To be a Clevelander is to intuitively understand that sports is a connector that transcends politics, religion, and race. When you are at a game, no one cares about your job, your income, your car, or your voting record: the only thing that matters is that we all love Cleveland.
In 2016, anyone following the Cavs knew it was time. An unfamiliar feeling started bubbling up all over the city. It was optimism. It was time to win. And we did. It was awesome.
As a fan, you start feeling a sense of connection to the players who paved the way to the city’s victory: Kevin Love was an integral piece of that puzzle.
So when Kevin Love penned a mental health piece for the Player’s Tribune last year, we were there for it.
In his piece, Kevin Love opened up about suffering a panic attack during a game — and how it led to him addressing his mental health.
Love was taken to the hospital during a loss to the Atlanta Hawks; it turned out Love was having a panic attack.
“It came out of nowhere. I’d never had one before,” Love stated. “I didn’t even know if they were real. But it was real — as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle. Since that day, almost everything about the way I think about my mental health has changed.”
Love now works with foundations like Just Keep Livin, centered on health and well being for our younger generations, and is committed to helping others who seek a focus on mental health and wellness.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hired the first sports psychologist in the NBA almost 20 years ago. Since then, the NBA has set trends that other leagues (and professions) will surely follow.
The NBA has done more than any of the 3 other major sports leagues to address the mental health issues of its athletes, and now they may be poised to do even more.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the NBA is implementing more mental health initiatives for its upcoming 2019-2020 season.
The new initiatives are the latest progression in the years-long fight to make mental wellness a priority for NBA players. Players like Kevin Love, Demar DeRozen and others are speaking openly about their experiences and struggles, and helping slowly reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF WELLNESS WORKING: SPANX
It is estimated that about 25%, or one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
SPANX is doing something about it. SPANX released a social media clip detailing its Whole Person Wellness Approach that include things like positive self talk, mindfulness techniques, and open communication.
Specific initiatives include increased access to fertility treatments, bringing pets to work, and a strong culture of philanthropy where employees are encouraged to improve their own wellbeing by helping others.
Social connection is a key element of wellbeing, and employees are routinely given cash and American Express gift cards so they can pay it forward and help other organizations who need it most. Employees even receive PTO to volunteer at local organizations: helping others, in addition to the good it does to the receiver, is also a great way to improve your own state of mind.
The company culture addresses issues of self doubt and negative self talk head on. Founder Sara Blakely routinely preaches that “What you don’t know can become your greatest asset”.
PAVING THE WAY
Seeing larger than life athletes and entrepreneurs like Blakely addressing wellbeing is inspiring, and the legal profession can certainly follow suit.
The road to mental health and wellness won’t always be easy or smooth, but Love, Blakely and others are paving the way so we can all travel that road together.
If you are in the legal profession and have wellness related questions or comments, please contact us at [email protected].