NBA Star Metta World Peace to Speak at USC about Mental Health Experiences

June 21, 2013

Contact: Cindy Monticue at 213-740-2021, 310-871-1396 or monticue@usc.edu; Alysa Solomon at 213-305-3119 or asolomon@dmh.lacounty.gov.

WHAT: Professional basketball player Metta World Peace will speak at the 7th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health gala dinner about his personal struggles with mental health issues during childhood and how psychiatric counseling has helped him cope with life. The Los Angeles Laker (born Ronald William Artest Jr.) is an advocate for mental health awareness and regularly works with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to promote mental health outreach programs and services. He is currently part of a campaign called “Talk It Out” on display at Metropolitan Transportation Authority shelters, depots, buses and trains. World Peace also founded Xcel University, a charity dedicated to supporting mental health awareness.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Program begins at 9 p.m.)

WHERE: Town & Gown, USC, 665 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0871

ParkingPlease RSVP to 213-740-2021 or 310-871-1396 to receive instructions.

WHO: The International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health conference, sponsored by the USC School of Social Work and the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, will bring together social work practitioners and academics from all over the world to examine how the latest research in health and mental health can be translated into practice.

WHY:  One in four adults − approximately 61.5 million Americans − experience mental illness in a given year. About 60 percent of those seek no help. Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year. Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. The good news is that recovery is possible.