In his article entitled “Metta World Peace’s mental health advocacy helps his own growth,” Mark Medina of the Los Angeles (CA) Times reports about recent examples of the on-going advocacy activities of professional basketball player Metta World Peace. Regular readers will remember that Mr. World Peace, previously known as Ron Artest, has publically disclosed his personal mental health issues and used his celebrity to raise funds for children, youths, and adults who have similar problems. Apparently Mr. Medina tagged along on a couple of Mr. World Peace’s visits with groups recently.
Staring intently at his audience, Metta World Peace talked. And talked. And talked.
This time, the Lakers eccentric forward wasn’t bragging to a reporter about how he’ll be one of the NBA’s best players in the 2012-13 season. He wasn’t acting goofy, as on a recent appearance on Russell Brand’s “Brand X” where the two stripped and wore each other’s clothes. He wasn’t defiant, the way he was after earning a seven-game suspension for delivering a vicious elbow to Oklahoma City guard James Harden a week before the 2012 playoffs.
Instead, World Peace sat recently in a room at Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA before 13 adults who suffer various mental health disorders. A half-hour later, he gathered with 23 kids with similar issues. World Peace provided them with a simple message: I’m facing the same problems you have.
In Mr. Medina’s full coverage of Mr. World Peace’s mental-health advocacy, he returns to the incident of the 2012 season when Mr. World Peace had the very public lapse in self-control, elbowing another player during a high-profile, televised basketball game (mentioned in the quote featured here). There is not an in-depth treatment of that incident, but there are some human-interest bits in the story; teachers or other service providers may find them helpful.