Kevin Love launches mental health program for high school students

There were 320-plus kids in Kevin Love’s Lake Oswego (Ore.) High School graduating class in 2007. He estimates the school had about one counselor for every 70 students. The five-time NBA All-Star feels his counselor oversaw too many kids to truly understand his depression and anxiety, let alone adequately help him through those feelings. So Love, now 34, came to understand this dynamic, of having to go “down the hall” in school to talk about mental illness and vulnerability, as imperfect , at best.

“I was somebody who learned about sexual education, physical education, but we never really talked about what goes on between the ears and why we may feel these sort of feelings arise even at the kindergarten age or beyond that,” he says.

On Sept. 14, through the Kevin Love Fund, the Cavaliers stalwart formally announced a nationwide expansion of the free mental health curriculum he’s been piloting with teenagers in schools and after-school programs over the last two years. Created in collaboration with educators and experts , it’s a social-emotional learning curriculum of more than a dozen lessons designed to acquaint students with the concepts of being vulnerable and asking for help, as well as destigmatizing their own emotions.

To start, the Fund has focused on high school students, with nearly 10,000 across 250 school and after-school programs in 37 states having recently graduated or begun the curriculum. Love and his team of educators plan to expand into middle schools and colleges, training teachers to relay the lessons, which include students’ expressing themselves in mediums such as photography, creative writing and music.

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