Seven-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams lends her voice and resources to further the conversation around mental health and encourage ways for people to engage with resources.
In an innovative collaboration, Williams will team up with the Women’s Tennis Association and Better Help to provide $2 million of free therapy to the public. The program is designed to highlight the importance of mental health as part of overall health and well-being while removing the stigma of professional help for mental health challenges.
The giveaway includes one month of free therapy through BetterHelp to those who sign up at www.betterhelp.com/venus. According to a release, the first $1 million is immediately available and the second $1 million will be covered by BetterHelp for each ace hit by WTA players for the remainder of the 2021 WTA Tour season.
According to EverydayHealth, the mistrust of the healthcare system is an ongoing critical component of the stigma associated with mental health in the Black community.
Williams explained the benefits of therapy in a New York Times guest essay.
“Putting myself in a position to perform at my best had always meant physical training, physical preparedness and physical health. The extent of my understanding of the psychological side of things was to be mentally tough on the court in the name of winning. I made sure never to show any weakness,” Williams wrote.
Since 2013, BetterHelp has helped more than 2 million people face life’s challenges and improve their mental health. “With more than 25 years of experience invested in research, data, and direct dialogue with our athletes, mental health and wellness is paramount for optimal performance and sustainability,” Micky Lawler, WTA president, said in a press release.
Williams wrote, “It doesn’t matter who you are. You need support. You can’t divorce mental health from anything you do. It impacts your physical well-being, your decision-making, your ability to cope with difficult moments.”