An NBA star and former Bruin basketball player is donating $500,000 to establish the Kevin Love Fund Centennial Chair in UCLA’s psychology department.
Love, who plays with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has publicly shared his struggles with panic attacks, anxiety and depression, and Monday committed $500,000 through his foundation — matched by a $500,000 UCLA Centennial Term Chair Match.
“The $1 million investment will support the teaching and research activity of UCLA’s faculty working to diagnose, prevent, treat and destigmatize anxiety and depression at one of the top-ranked psychology departments in the United States,” university officials said.
The NBA star founded the Kevin Love Fund in 2018 to help people improve their physical and emotional well-being. On Sunday, Love was honored at the ESPYs as the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his work as a mental health advocate.
“Kevin Love has shown not only tremendous leadership, but also tremendous heart, both on and off the court,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “Thanks to his gift, the UCLA psychology department will be able to further its efforts to help those who suffer from anxiety and depression and the stigma that surrounds these conditions.”
Love’s contribution, bolstered by the Centennial Term Chair Match, will go to a scholar in the psychology department whose research could help advance treatments for people living with anxiety and depression.
“I’m concerned about the level of anxiety that people are feeling. Recent events, including the novel coronavirus outbreak, have put our society under enormous stress,” Love said. “I am happy to be able to help UCLA, my alma mater, work toward solving some of society’s biggest underlying issues.
“I hope one day we are able to erase the stigma around anxiety and depression, and we can only do that by improving diagnosis and treatment, fostering public conversations about mental health and encouraging people to seek help when they need it.”
UCLA’s psychology department is among the nation’s top-ranked departments of its kind and one of the largest academic units on campus, with more than 3,700 undergraduate students and 180 graduate students, university officials said.
“When heroes like Kevin come forward and share their vulnerability, it shines a light on anxiety and depression, and that helps chip away at stigma,” said Michelle Craske, a UCLA distinguished professor psychology and of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences. “I want to thank Kevin for his leadership and his courage to share his personal story with the world. He has inspired and provided hope to many. Through his continued efforts, he is changing people’s lives.”
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