Former professional athletes and Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens will join U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III and NBC Sports Boston anchor and reporter Trenni Kusnierek for a Suffolk University Ford Hall Forum conversation about mental health among professional athletes. The “Conversation on Mental Health with the Sports Community” will take place from 5:30–7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, at Suffolk University’s Modern Theatre, 525 Washington St., Boston.
A number of high-profile professional athletes have spoken up recently about mental health challenges they’ve faced, including depression and anxiety. And yet stigmas associated with mental health in professional sports remain. Some athletes say they are trying to change that, breaking barriers by sharing their stories in the hope that these very personal public testimonies will encourage others to reach out for help.
“Mental illness does not pause for profession, and stigma does not erode with fame,” said Kennedy. “For athletes who have been trained to shield injury or illness to step forward and share their personal struggles is not only inspiring and not only brave; it will undoubtedly help encourage someone listening to seek the treatment, care and support they need. At this Ford Hall Forum on mental health in the sports community, we will discuss barriers to care that extend far beyond the lines and locker rooms of professional sports.”
The “Conversation on Mental Health with the Sports Community” will be moderated by Kennedy and Kusnierek and will include the following guests:
- Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens
- Former New England Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown
- Women’s National Basketball Association legend Chamique Holdsclaw
- Former National Hockey League player Kevin Stevens
Moderators and panelists will share personal stories and discuss efforts to remove the stigma of mental health in sports. They also will discuss how professional leagues and teams are addressing the issue and what’s being done on the legislative level to improve access to treatment.
The Ford Hall Forum welcomes audience participation, and the media are invited to cover the event.