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Kevin Love commits $500,000 to UCLA's mental health effort

Tom Withers, Associated Press

Tuesday 23 June 2020 07:42, UK

Kevin Love prepares to drive into the lane against the New York Knicks
Image: Kevin Love prepares to drive into the lane against the New York Knicks

One day after receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, Kevin Love took another step towards raising the awareness of mental health issues.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers forward, who has been outspoken in his own struggles with panic attacks and anxiety, committed $500,000 through his foundation to UCLA's psychology department on Monday.

Love played one season for the Bruins (2007-08) and he is helping his alma mater's work in diagnosing, preventing, treating and destigmatising anxiety and depression.

Kevin Love shoots  a fadeaway jump shot for the Cavaliers
Image: Love shoots a fadeaway jump shot for the Cavaliers

"I hope one day we are able to erase the stigma around anxiety and depression, and we can only do that by improving diagnosis and treatment, fostering public conversations about mental health and encouraging people to seek help when they need it," Love said.

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Love first went public with his personal battles during the 2018 season. Since then, he has been active in spreading information nationally on mental health issues. Love credited San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan, who has also fought depression, for giving him the strength to come forward.

Kevin Love posts a message urging empathy and compassion during the coronavirus crisis 2:45
Kevin Love posted a message to remind everyone to practice compassion and empathy during difficult times

"When heroes like Kevin come forward and share their vulnerability, it shines a light on anxiety and depression, and that helps chip away at stigma," said Michelle Craske, a UCLA professor in psychology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences.

"I want to thank Kevin for his leadership and his courage to share his personal story with the world. He has inspired and provided hope to many. Through his continued efforts, he is changing people's lives."

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Love formally received the Ashe award at Sunday night's ESPYs for his mental-health awareness efforts. Ashe was a tennis star at UCLA before becoming one of the top professionals in the sport.

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