Royce White to address stigma around help-seeking for men and boys, July 11

Royce White, former NBA player and Iowa State University basketball star, will give a presentation on July 11 that will address stigma around help-seeking for men and boys. The event is being co-sponsored by the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center (the Center) and DMU and will take place on the University’s campus.

Mental health in sports is a difficult issue to speak about openly, but former NBA first round pick, Royce White, is determined to change that.

Research shows that men and boys are less likely to visit a health care provider and more likely to complete suicide or harm others as a result of depression, anxiety and other issues related to mental health.

“Royce White has been a dynamic and effective advocate for mental health, and we are pleased to welcome him to Des Moines,” said Jim Hayes, D.Min., M.Div., the Center’s executive director.

(NOTE: A related conference on mental health issues scheduled for July 12 at DMU has been POSTPONED.)

As an NBA player, White was forth-coming about his pre-existing diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). However, his basketball career was cut short because the league didn’t have a policy relating to players’ mental health. White responded forcefully, through advocacy and education, to advance understanding of mental health.

“Des Moines University is proud to co-sponsor ‘Addressing Stigma Around Help-Seeking for Men and Boys.’ The mental health needs of men and boys can go unrecognized and untreated, and this is an effort to emphasize the importance of seeking help for these concerns,” said Lisa Streyffeler, Ph.D., DMU assistant professor and chair, department of behavioral medicine, medical humanities and bioethics. She emphasized that managing mental health is just as critical and effective as seeking help for pneumonia or a broken leg.

The July 11 Royce White event is free and open to the public. RSVPs are appreciated via www.dmpcc.org/MEN. For more information and to register, please visit the website above.