Former NBA Player to Bring Mental Health Message to Valley

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Former professional basketball player Metta World Peace will bring his story to the Mahoning Valley on May 4 to help raise awareness of the stigma associated with men seeking mental health help.

Metta, formerly known as Ron Artest, will be the keynote speaker at “Unmute the Uncomfortable 2023: A Symposium on Racial Equity, Shattering the Stigma, and Reshaping our Community.” The daylong event will take place from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Eastwood Event Centre in Niles and will be presented by Coleman Health Services in partnership with the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board.

“We feel Metta will bring awareness to this critical issue in our community,” said Stacia Erdos, development executive for Coleman Health Services in the Mahoning Valley. “The statistics are startling, and this forum will provide a safe place for education, discussion and lived experience.”

Metta played 19 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He is now a mental health advocate whose story is told in Showtime’s “Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story,” as well as the Netflix documentary “Malice at the Palace.” 

Other speakers will include LaToya Logan, founder and CEO of Project LIFT in Cleveland; Jewel Woods, founder and clinical director of Male Behavioral Health in Columbus; Jon Paul Robles, director of the Greater Youngstown Community Dialogue on Racism; David Lee Morgan Jr., author and Warren native; and Jay Williams, former Youngstown mayor and member of the Obama administration. Williams is currently president and CEO of The Hartford Foundation.

“Because of the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to bring these thought-provoking speakers to the Mahoning Valley, while offering a limited number of free tickets to college students and first responders,” Erdos said.

Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Carla Baldwin will serve as event moderator.

The cost is $100 and includes breakfast and lunch. A resource fair with community providers will take place in conjunction with the event. Register HERE.

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Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.