Kevin Love has been a fierce and tireless advocate for raising mental health awareness ever since he suffered an anxiety attack during a game in November 2017. The Cleveland Cavaliers star’s yearslong devotion to a cause that holds such deep personal meaning has resulted in being honored by a foundation that shares his dedication to removing the stigma surrounding mental illness and other related issues.
Love was officially honored Thursday with the Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion for his ongoing work in mental health advocacy.
“Love has repeatedly taken steps to eradicate the mental health stigma by sharing stories of his struggles with depression, anxiety, and other challenges,” the Ruderman Family Foundation said in a statement, per an AP report shared by ESPN.
Love suffered the aforementioned panic attack on Nov. 5 in the locker room and later penned a powerful essay for The Players’ Tribune about the incident and its aftermath titled, “Everyone is Going Through Something.”
Ever since, Love has been on the forefront of mental health advocacy, saying in 2018 that he feels like he has a purpose for the “greater good” beyond basketball through his work. Love’s commitment to the cause over the years includes raising awareness of how the ongoing pandemic can contribute to serious mental health issues.
“When I first spoke out about my mental health struggles, it transformed my life,” Love said Thursday in acknowledgment of the award. “Over the past few years, athletes around the world have shown us incredible courage by shining a light on the mental health toll that comes with extreme pressure. In doing so, they helped kick-start a cultural shift around mental wellness.”
The Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion is awarded annually to “one individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the inclusion of people with disabilities,” per the Ruderman Family Foundation’s official site.