“There is still so much stigma around mental health, it’s seen as something — especially in sports — that isn’t talked about or people can’t open up about,” Clark says.
According to Athletes for Hope, a non-profit organization focused on connecting athletes with charitable causes, recent data shows that up to 35 percent of professional athletes suffer from a mental health crisis including eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
Says Clark: “We need to take care of our athletes and honor every part of that, not just what we admire of them physically, but also what they're going through emotionally.”
Before his death in a helicopter crash on January 26 at age 41 — which also claimed the lives of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven others — the former Los Angeles Laker was heavily focused on producing content for children.
It’s a chapter of his life, Clark says, Bryant was really excited about.
“He wanted to tell stories and connect with young people so they felt seen, motivated and like the world understood and cared about them," she adds. “I think that was very, very important to him."
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