League-wide initiative to spread message that mental health is just as important as physical health
For Immediate Release
September 25, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The NFL Players Association announced today the kick-off of a league-wide campaign for the NFL’s 2017 season called “The World Needs You Here” that highlights the NFLPA’s strong commitment to mental health.
Each NFL player is receiving a “The World Needs You Here” bracelet to spread the message that mental health is just as important as physical health, both on and off the field. The initiative is part of a partnership with Active Minds, the nation’s premier nonprofit organization devoted to changing the conversation about mental health.
“We all know someone who suffers from depression, anxiety, PTSD or another mental condition,” Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea said. “Suicide is not the answer. Getting help is the answer, and that’s why we as players felt it was important to get involved with ‘The World Needs You Here’ campaign. It’s important for people to know that it’s OK to talk about mental health and by encouraging that dialogue, you might save someone’s life.”
Many are surprised to learn that 50 percent of us will experience a mental health challenge in our lifetime. Mental health issues and stigma touch everyone. The consequences of not seeking help can be tragic. In the U.S., deaths from suicide have increased 24 percent since 1999 (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
“NFL players who wear a #NeedYouHere bracelet and post their support on social media make a huge difference in how the public perceives mental health struggles and illnesses,” said Alison Malmon, the founder and executive director of Active Minds, an organization that focuses on young people ages 14-25. “It’s no exaggeration to say that these football players are helping to save lives when they reduce the stigma that prevents many from getting help when they need it.”
Both the NFLPA and Active Minds are committed to reducing the stigma and changing the conversation about mental health. The NFLPA, for example, offers the “Your Body, Your Mind, Your Health” initiative, and Active Minds is powered by a network of campus chapters located at more than 450 colleges, universities, and high schools nationwide, each of which is dedicated to educating and advocating for mental health.
“The NFLPA cares not only about players currently in the league, but also about their families, former players, and everyone who looks up to them,” said Dr. Nyaka NiiLampti, who is the NFLPA’s director of player wellness. “We know mental health issues are often temporary and very treatable, and just like a person with a heart condition does not hesitate to see a doctor, the same should be true for anyone who is struggling with a mental health condition.”
“The World Needs You Here” bracelets are available for $5 from needyouhere.org. All proceeds benefit Active Minds’ outreach and education efforts for young people.
About the NFL Players Association: The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.
About Active Minds: Active Minds is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education among teens and young adults. By empowering a new generation to speak openly and act courageously, Active Minds is saving lives and building stronger families and communities. Founded in 2003 by then 21-year-old Alison Malmon after the tragic suicide of her brother Brian, Active Minds is the country’s largest mental health organization working with young people to create lasting change in the way mental health is talked about, cared for, and valued in the United States. Learn more at https://www.activeminds.org.
Brandon Parker | NFLPA | Communications Manager
Brandon.Parker@nflpa.com | 202-756-9160
Pam McKeta | Active Minds | Communications Director
firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-332-9595, ext. 109