Star Athletes Share Their Mental Health “Rituals,” Encouraging Fans to Prioritize Their Mental Health

11 professional sports leagues and organizations teamed up with the national “Love, Your Mind” campaign to announce a comprehensive mental health partnership with the premiere of a series of public service advertisements (PSAs). The series, titled “The Rituals We Share,” features star athletes sharing their “rituals,” or steps they take, to care for their minds on and off the field – encouraging sports fans across the country to prioritize their mental health and explore free resources from LoveYourMindToday.org.

The “Love, Your Mind” campaign from Huntsman Mental Health Institute and the Ad Council is dedicated to encouraging a more open, accepting and proactive society when it comes to mental health. That message is being amplified at the culmination of this Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond through the convening of sports leagues and organizations, including:

  • Major League Baseball (MLB)
  • Major League Soccer (MLS)
  • National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)
  • National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • National Football League (NFL)
  • National Hockey League (NHL)
  • National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)
  • Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)
  • United States Tennis Association (USTA)
  • Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)
  • World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)

“Our country is facing a pervasive mental health crisis. We can help one another by talking about the rituals we embrace to support our mental health,” said Dr. William A. Smith, chief executive administrator at Huntsman Mental Health Institute. “So many sports fans look up to their favorite athletes, so we’re honored to partner with many of them today to share their mental health rituals and stories to normalize talking about and taking care of our minds.”

Per the Ad Council’s model, the PSAs will run nationwide in time and space donated by media outlets across TV and digital media platforms. The participating sports leagues and organizations will also extend the partnership throughout 2024 and beyond by providing social media amplification, support on their owned media channels, media partnerships and more. To learn more about their ongoing commitment to this partnership and mental health, visit LoveYourMindToday.org/Sports.

“This partnership with the best of sports is truly extraordinary because it offers a unique opportunity to reach millions of dedicated sports fans across the country,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “The sports leagues and organizations we’ve partnered with share our goal of encouraging people everywhere to make their emotional well-being just as much of a priority as their physical health.”

The series of PSAs features beloved athletes sharing the practices and routines that make up their mental health rituals, including:

  • Lexie Brown of the L.A. Sparks
  • Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports
  • Cam Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Zach Hyman of the Edmonton Oilers
  • Madison Keys, professional tennis player
  • Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards
  • Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays
  • Liv Morgan and Cody Rhodes of the WWE
  • Tim O’Connell of the PRCA
  • Cari Roccaro of the Chicago Red Stars
  • Zack Steffen of the Colorado Rapids

The series was developed pro bono by creative agency Walton Isaacson and helmed by highly acclaimed director Nina Meredith of the Oscar-winning production company RadicalMedia. It builds on the “Love, Your Mind” platform originally developed by volunteer creative agencies FCB New York and FCB Chicago. The PSAs feature the hit song “Home” from U.K. duo Good Neighbours.

“We wanted to harness the power that sports have on influencing culture and move the dial on how we all perceive mental health,” said Aaron Walton, CEO and founder of Walton Isaacson. “Some routines may seem just for fun, but there’s a deeper lesson here: just as athletes leverage rituals to improve their performance, we can also lean into them to center ourselves and help us love our minds.”

This effort is the latest from Huntsman Mental Health Institute and the Ad Council’s ongoing “Love, Your Mind” campaign, with previous collaborations including Black Players for Change, Stephen A. Smith, Sesame Workshop and the American Farm Bureau. Since launching in October 2023, the “Love, Your Mind” campaign has driven more than 650,000 visits to LoveYourMindToday.org for free mental health resources. Additionally, of those who are aware of at least one of the campaign’s PSAs, 74% agree that taking care of their mental health is a top priority, compared to only 58% of those not aware.

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