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The Major League Baseball Players Trust donates $100,000 to Give an Hour

Joins mental health nonprofit’s Campaign to Change Direction

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 — In recognition of World Mental Health Day, the Major League Baseball Players Trust on Thursday announced a $100,000 grant to Give an Hour, a national nonprofit that provides free mental health services and leads a national effort to change the negative culture of mental health.

Give an Hour helps people in need get the care they deserve through a nationwide network of thousands of licensed mental health professionals who volunteer for an hour a week for up to a year.

The Players Trust grant will support outreach and helping maintain the nonprofit’s network of mental health professionals who have provided almost 300,000 hours of support to undeserved populations including U.S. service members, veterans and their families.  

The Players Trust grant will also support Give an Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction, an initiative in which community leaders are using their platforms to help change the culture around mental health, mental illness, and wellness.

“Mental health is important to Players and is the foundation for healthy relationships,” said Leonor Colon, the Major League Baseball Players Association’s Senior Director of International and Domestic Player Operations.  “We are excited to join and support the Campaign to Change Direction and highlight the importance of mental wellness.” 

The campaign raises awareness about five potential warning signs that people experiencing emotional suffering may exhibit: personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care and hopelessness. It also promotes healthy habits for emotional
well-being, such as good nutrition, sufficient sleep and exercise, engaging with friends and family, and developing healthy emotional outlets to help reduce stress.

“I have worked with military charities throughout my career and I am glad “Give an Hour” was started to help our soldiers as they come home from protecting our country at home and abroad,” Indians pitcher Corey Kluber said.  “To see this campaign extended to help address what has become an overwhelmed mental health care system is truly remarkable.  I want to thank every licensed mental health professional and the Players Trust for making this possible for every American this will assist.”

“I’m very excited that we are partnering with Give an Hour,” said pitcher Danny Duffy of the Kansas City Royals.  “Raising awareness and promoting healthy habits is important.  Give an Hour will afford those in need an opportunity to get the help they need and deserve.  I was lost, too, and everyone should know there is a ‘healthy way’ out.  It’s more than ok to ask for help, its actually a sign of strength.”

“We are so excited about our new relationship with the Players Trust,” said Randy Phelps, Ph.D., CEO of Give an Hour.  “What better way to spread the word about positive mental health and wellness, and especially to kids, than to partner with baseball and its real-life champions.”

The Players Trust is also promoting the Change Direction Jam, Give an Hour’s first global conversation to change mental health, which is online today and tomorrow. The Jam is bringing together thought leaders, advocates, policymakers and those with lived experience to share ideas, successes and challenges in their efforts to change the culture of mental health. Registration is at www.changedirection.org

Give an Hour®

Founded by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area, Give an Hour’s mission is to develop networks of skill-based volunteer professionals capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions prevalent within society. Since 2005, the nonprofit organization has provided free mental health services to U.S. service members, veterans, and their families. In 2015, Give an Hour expanded efforts to address the mental health needs of other populations including at-risk teens, survivors of gun violence, and those affected by natural and man-made disasters. Thus far, the U.S. network of almost 7,000 licensed mental health professionals has provided more than 297,000 hours of support.

Campaign to Change Direction®

The Campaign to Change Direction is a coalition of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to change the culture around mental health, mental illness, and wellness. The campaign encourages everyone to pay attention to their emotional well-being – and it reminds us that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being. This collective impact effort is led by Give an Hour.

Players Trust

The Players Trust is the collective charity of Major League Baseball Players. Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes. Each year the Players Trust distributes more than $1.5 million in annual grants and programs. For additional information, please visit www.PlayersTrust.org. Follow the Trust on Twitter (@MLBPlayersTrust) and Instagram (mlbplayerstrust).

Contact: Chris Dahl, Director of Communications, cdahl@mlbpa.org, 917-699-1294 (cell)