LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest was honored Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for his work in raising awareness of mental health issues.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recognized Artest for “his demonstrated courage in helping to erase the stigma
associated with mental health challenges.”
Artest’s goal, he said, is to let kids in particular know that there’s nothing shameful about seeking help when they need it.
“There’s nothing wrong with improving yourself … there’s nothing wrong with that,” Ridley-Thomas said.
Artest has appeared in public service announcements for the county and other organizations and raised $650,000 to support mental health programs by raffling off his 2010 NBA championship ring.
His advocacy earned him the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award presented by the Professional Basketball Writers Association.
The county’s director of mental health services, Marvin Southard, reinforced Artest’s message Tuesday, saying, “If you get the help, anything is possible.”