“Mental Health Action Day” was on Thursday and as part of the day-long push to increase awareness around mental health the Military Basketball Association hosted an exhibition wheelchair basketball game for veterans and active-duty members at the Gold Crown Foundation in Lakewood.
“If you bring people together with sports, it’s an uniter,” said Military Basketball Association commissioner, Mike Meyers.
For Army veteran Dan Hendrix, who lost his leg after a training jump in 2012, the game was an opportunity to connect with other armed forces members and is an important exercise for his mental health.
“The way this sport allows me to get out here sweat and push hard. For my mental health, I need it. It relieves my stress and makes me feel better,” he said.
The MBA also hosted a one-hour panel discussing the issues military members and the general population face around mental health and the stigma surrounding getting help.
“Basketball is a sanctuary, so when you’re able to compete in a team sport you’re able to be more comfortable talking about things that trouble you,” Meyers added. “Part of what we want to do in the MBA is change the stigma for mental health and mental fitness.”
The MBA will host its championship tournament over Memorial Day Weekend in Wichita, Kansas. The games will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
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