In recent weeks, high profile NBA players have come forward with personal accounts about their mental health struggles. All-star players Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan caught national attention for their confessions about dealing with panic attacks and depression, respectively. Now, it appears that the NBA is paying attention.
According to NBA.com, the league and the National Basketball Players Association are close to naming a director of mental health and wellness. That person will be in charge of an independent mental wellness program, which will be funded by both the league and the union.
The program was conceived as talks for a new collective bargaining agreement were underway. Players will be able to seek treatment and counseling for mental health issues outside of their team’s framework, if they so choose.
In a related move, The Wall Street Journal reports that the NBA and the mindfulness meditation app Headspace announced a partnership under which all league players and employees, including those in the WNBA and G League, will get access to the app in exchange for the league featuring Headspace content on its own app and digital platforms.
No money was exchanged in the deal, but Headspace hopes that the move will pay off from a marketing perspective as the app seeks more users.
Mindfulness meditation could help players better handle the stresses that come with life at the highest level of their sport.