NEW YORK, Oct. 10 — In recognition of World Mental Health Day, the Major League Baseball Players Trust on Thursday announced a $100,000 grant to Give an Hour, a national nonprofit that provides free mental health services and leads a national effort to change the negative culture of mental health.
Give an Hour helps people in need get the care they deserve through a nationwide network of thousands of licensed mental health professionals who volunteer for an hour a week for up to a year.
The Players Trust grant will support outreach and helping maintain the nonprofit’s network of mental health professionals who have provided almost 300,000 hours of support to undeserved populations including U.S. service members, veterans and their families.
The Players Trust grant will also support Give an Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction, an initiative in which community leaders are using their platforms to help change the culture around mental health, mental illness, and wellness.
“Mental health is important to Players and is the foundation for healthy relationships,” said Leonor Colon, the Major League Baseball Players Association’s Senior Director of International and Domestic Player Operations. “We are excited to join and support the Campaign to Change Direction and highlight the importance of mental wellness.”
The campaign raises awareness about five potential warning signs that people experiencing emotional suffering may exhibit: personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care and hopelessness. It also promotes healthy habits for emotional
well-being, such as good nutrition, sufficient sleep and exercise, engaging with friends and family, and developing healthy emotional outlets to help reduce stress.
“I have worked with military charities throughout my career and I am glad “Give an Hour” was started to help our soldiers as they come home from protecting our country at home and abroad,” Indians pitcher Corey Kluber said. “To see this campaign extended to help address what has become an overwhelmed mental health care system is truly remarkable. I want to thank every licensed mental health professional and the Players Trust for making this possible for every American this will assist.”
“I’m very excited that we are partnering with Give an Hour,” said pitcher Danny Duffy of the Kansas City Royals. “Raising awareness and promoting healthy habits is important. Give an Hour will afford those in need an opportunity to get the help they need and deserve. I was lost, too, and everyone should know there is a ‘healthy way’ out. It’s more than ok to ask for help, its actually a sign of strength.”
“We are so excited about our new relationship with the Players Trust,” said Randy Phelps, Ph.D., CEO of Give an Hour. “What better way to spread the word about positive mental health and wellness, and especially to kids, than to partner with baseball and its real-life champions.”
The Players Trust is also promoting the Change Direction Jam, Give an Hour’s first global conversation to change mental health, which is online today and tomorrow. The Jam is bringing together thought leaders, advocates, policymakers and those with lived experience to share ideas, successes and challenges in their efforts to change the culture of mental health. Registration is at www.changedirection.org