Chloe Bailey And Trae Young Talk Mental Health And Social Media’s Impact On It In ‘Courtside Chat’
Silence the Shame

The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks are collaborating with Silence The Shame, a non-profit dedicated to shedding more light on mental wellness in communities. They will work together on a multi-initiative campaign to target teenagers. It will focus on education and providing awareness in regards to mental health, including through the curriculum taught in Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia.

This couldn’t be a more timely collaboration, considering World Teen Mental Health Day recently passed and Mental Health Awareness Month is approaching in May.

As part of the non-profit’s latest initiative, Hawks All-Star guard Trae Young and Grammy-nominated singer Chloe Bailey sat on a panel facilitated by mental health advocate Shanti Das to discuss their mental health experiences. It’s been touted as a Teen Mental Wellness Courtside Chat.

When Das asked Bailey about current or past experiences with her mental health, she shared that it feels like it’s not something you ever fully conquer.

“It ebbs and flows,” said the singer. “Maybe one day we’re doing better than others. For me, I’m realizing it’s OK to take time off. I’m realizing the reason why I throw myself into work so much is because that’s when my mind is distracted the most. Right now, I’m trying to learn how to appreciate the off days where I’m not doing anything. Where we kind of let our thoughts get the best of us. ‘What is my purpose? What am I here for?’ It’s just me learning to enjoy the simple things in life.”

Das also asked what their thoughts on social media are. Bailey stated that the many platforms online can have good and bad impacts on one’s well-being.  

“Social media is like a blessing and a curse,” she said. “Online is how my sister and I got started because of YouTube and everything. From an early age, I learned how to deal with negativity and all the comments. We’re all human. Of course, when you’re scrolling, you’ll see all these incredible things people are saying about you and there’s always that one s****y thing where you’re like, ‘Oh, what if this is true? This is how I’m looking at myself now.’”

Bailey continued, “You start getting in your head. I remember early on telling myself, so maybe I should change myself a little bit to appease people? But it’s like at the end of the day, you’re not appeasing yourself.”

The singer admits that “words do hurt” and words of people from social media have caused a lot of pain for everyday people left feeling inadequate as a result of comparing themselves to others.

“It’s also challenging our mental health, and any insecurities that we have, it amplifies it times a thousand,” Bailey said. “I feel like it’s important to have a support system around us outside of social media to confide in, so we can take mental health breaks from that world. If we’re constantly in it and constantly feeding ourselves that content, it will only kind of do something to our spirit.”

Young also chimed in on the conversation and said mental health is something “I’ve always had to deal with.” He keeps his circle small, spending free time with family. He also said he immerses himself in basketball as it’s “two to three” hours away from whatever reality he may be dealing with at the time.

Das asked Young about his daily “Another Day, Another Opportunity” tweets.

“I use that and post that every day not only as a reminder to myself, but a reminder to everybody,” he said. “I use it as a reminder to myself that every day it’s an opportunity to get better at something. Whether it’s being a better big brother or being a better teammate. I’m always trying to get better at something. I always wake up with that mindset and try to remind people every day that we can be better each and every single day at something.”

The Hawks plan to have Silence the Shame night on March 20 against the New Orleans Pelicans. If you’ll be physically at the game, a special Silence the Shame spotlight is taking place at the State Farm Arena during the game.

To support the initiative, consider purchasing a special package by the Hawks which includes a limited edition branded T-shirt, admission to a pre-game event, and a ticket to the game. Money from each package purchased will go to Silence the Shame.