Professional basketball player Ron Artest, who admits that he experienced difficulties as a youth and an adult, has been promoting mental health awareness over the past few years. Recently I posted a note acknowledging some of his efforts, and today I call attention to another of them. At the release of the accompanying public service announcement 21 December 2010 in support of mental health awareness, Mr. Artest not only spoke in support of those efforts, but he also donated $50,000 to local clinics in the Los Angeles (CA, US) area.
In a blog post for the Los Angeles Times entitled “Ron Artest debuts his PSA on mental health awareness,” Mark Medina reported about the press conference and the production of the PSA. If you’re a Lakers fan, as am I, you’ll find a couple of tidbits of interest there. But, there are also noteworthy nuggets about mental health advocacy and even about the entertainment industry in Mr Medina’s report, too. He has an audio interview with Gary Foster, who produced the video (as well as the noted movie “The Soloist,” also about mental health), and additional notes about Mr. Artest’s efforts.
According to Mr. Medina, on Christmas Day, another of Mr. Artest’s fund- and awareness-raising efforts on behalf of mental health will be in the spotlight. The ring that Mr. Artest received as a member of the world championship Los Angeles Lakers team of 2010 will be awarded to the winner of a raffle. That raffle has reportedly raised over $500,000 US. (I bought my raffle tickets, of course.)
As a fan of the Lakers for 50 years, I’m glad Mr. Artest is playing for my team, but I’m especially happy to have him on the mental-health advocacy team. My hat’s off to you, Mr. Artest.
Read all of Mr. Medina’s entry, Ron Artest debuts his PSA on mental health awareness. Check my earlier post from 11 November 2010.