JSU host COVID-19 virtual town hall about sports, depression

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson State University’s (JSU) College of Health Sciences held a COVID-19 virtual town hall about sports and depression. The event featured nine-time NBA All-Star Dominique Wilkins and NFL Super Bowl champion David Fulcher, along with other sports and health officials. The town hall will be part of Mental Health Awareness month.

As the coronavirus pandemic sporadically took over our world, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse increased. In 2020, sports stopped, leaving athletes that played sports all their lives with the question, what’s next?

9-time NBA All Star with the Atlanta Hawks, Dominique Wilkins says he’s had many friends to die from COVID. Instead of letting depression take over him, he got educated on what’s best for his health, like getting vaccinated.

“As athletes, many think we are invincible and we can’t have the same problems like everybody else has but we do” said Wilkins.

 Players aren’t the only ones who are struggling. JSU women’s hoops head coach Tomekia Reed says she struggled with not having answers for her players with so much uncertainty with the coronavirus. But this year she finds herself and her team being more open about problems they’re facing. 

She says all of her players will come tell her, “my mental is not okay, I am not emotionally stable, or I need to talk to someone.” Reed says the team wasn’t as open last year.

The CDC has a website titled How Right Now/ Finding What Helps to help you with your mental health. 

Panelists:

  • Dominique Wilkins, 9-time NBA All-Star, Atlanta Hawks
  • David Fulcher, NFL Superbowl Champion, former Cincinnati Bengals Hall of Famer
  • Coach Tomekia Reed, JSU Women’s Head Basketball Coach
  • Shanice White, director, JSU Latasha Norman Center for Counseling Services
  • Dr. Maxie Gordon, psychiatry/internal medicine and medical director of Gordon Medical Arts Clinic

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