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Ron Artest – An Advocate for Mental Health

July 7, 2011

In regards to Military PTSD Forum, I was asked today by one of my friends, “What’s in it for you?”  Isn’t this the way of the World today?  Only take action if you can gain something from it.  Well the truth is I been personally touched by PTSD and I have also been strongly moved by this issue of or our troops coming home and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I want to do everything I can to help.

A little less than 2 years ago I was startled by Ron Artest taking a stand for mental health.  He was very vocal about his desire to bring his celebrity to this cause, and I’ve never heard any other celebrity or sports star speak about mental health in such an influential way.  He went so far as to auction off his Laker’s championship ring for this cause, to raise money for it.  If you know anything about professional athletes, a championship ring is the symbol of being at the pinnacle of one’s career.  To be the best of the best.  In many cases, it is something that athletes dedicate their whole lives to and in some cases never achieve, yet Ron Artest willingly let this symbol of personal success go, because he felt his cause was just and he was willing to do what he could to stand behind it.

My wish list would be for this site to find it’s way to Ron Artest‘s door.   I don’t want to be negative for you, the reader, but the facts are the facts.  The government has announced that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is responsible for 18 suicides a day.  That was startling to me.  Why is this happening and what can be done?  PTSD sufferers have no visible scars or wounds that can be addressed easily.  Worse still is that sufferers feel that it isn’t macho to complain, acknowledge their PTSD symptoms or seek help.  They don’t want to burden anyone by complaining about their depression from PTSD, social anxiety or even thoughts of suicide.  According to most mental health professionals this is the worst thing that a person can do — keep it hidden inside.

I know of no athlete more manly than Ron Artest, and he has advocated for people to seek help for their mental problems.  If Mr. Artest is willing to speak out to his followers, which are in the thousands, and ask them to pass the word on to their friends and families in their social networks about this issue, how quickly could we get many PTSD sufferers to begin finding help?  So yes, I wish this blog would find its way to his door.   He would simply have to mention his awareness and support of these brave men and women and encourage them to take steps to seek help.   It would start the ball moving more quickly toward providing an outlet for these heroes who responded to their nation’s call for service without question or pause. 

Someone once told me if you put your intentions out there,  they will be answered.  If you can help in any way to bring a PTSD sufferer or loved one here to this site, you may be saving a life and a family.  Support the troops.