WASHINGTON, D.C. – Did you know that 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year (47.6 million in 2018)? In an effort to increase understanding of mental health issues and how those suffering from mental health challenges can be supported, the Washington Wizards and MedStar Health are partnering to host Mental Health Awareness Night when the team hosts the Denver Nuggets on March 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Prior to the game, MedStar Health, the region's leading healthcare provider, and the Wizards, will host a free pregame panel discussion about mental health and sports. The panel discussion will inspire meaningful conversations, provide resources to help address the mental health crisis, and advocate to end the stigma surrounding mental health. Fans interested in attending the panel can RSVP and purchase game ticket HERE. Those who already have tickets to the game, but would like to attend the panel can RSVP HERE.
The pregame panel will take place in the Devils Backbone Lounge at Capital One Arena from 4:45-5:45 p.m. Eric Kussin, founder of #SameHere Global, will host a conversation with panelists Dr. Derick Anderson, Wizards Team Psychologist, Charise Beckett, VP of People & Culture at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Natasha Cloud, Washington Mystics guard, Dr. Steven Epstein, Chair, Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Health and Barb Solish, Director of Youth & Young Adult Initiatives at National Alliance on Mental Illness.
During the game, an interview with Wizards player Daniel Gafford about mental health will be featured, and graphics with mental health facts will be displayed. Pictures of Wizards players holding signs with supportive messages about mental health will also be highlighted. Mind Health Information flyers will be available on the concourse.
For more information about the Washington Wizards Mental Health Awareness Night and for resources, visit www.nba.com/wizards/mentalhealth.