James Donaldson on Mental Health

I wanted to take a moment, to express my thanks and gratitude for such an outpouring of love and support and understanding for what I’ve been going through the last several months. Friends that I’ve had for 30+ years, who had no idea what was happening to me, reached out from around the country as well as so many of my social media “friends”. I consider you all friends and personally connected to you, so I say thank you very much.

These challenges I’ve been going through, are very serious. My hope is that with me speaking out of my own personal issues, that people can see that this kind of thing can happen to anybody, and at any point in one’s life. Mine happened to be, financial, personal relationships, medical health and finally drove me to the point of being in a very deep, dark and scary place, where I was even contemplating suicide. Even now the thoughts come to my mind from time to time, but the good news is, they are usually just a “fleeting thought” that doesn’t stay with me for hours on end or keep me up at night.

I am hoping to create a platform where I can get out there and speak, especially to our younger generation, and to give them a sense of “hope”, and encourage them to reach out for help from medical professionals, and form a tight circle of intimate friends, who will be there for them throughout. That’s exactly what I did.

Getting involved with abusing substances, such as drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, promiscuous behaviors, will only make the situation worse, so we all need to try her best to stay away from those things.

Also, my hope is to reach out to our “men, and young men and boys” to get them to be in touch with their feelings, and to feel more comfortable speaking up and speaking out, and reaching out to the help that is around them. So many of us, especially from my field of competitive athletics, learn never to show vulnerabilities or weaknesses, never to cry, never to complain, never to show that you are injured and/or that you need help. It’s a very big burden for men and boys to carry, so we have to learn to do better in order for us to be better. Women and girls have more of an innate ability to reach out to each other, cry on each other’s shoulders, and receive support.

Anyway, I wanted to give you a quick update of where I am, and that this is a day by day process that I am working through. With my IRS issues, and having to close down my business suddenly, I am now totally financially upside down, struggling even to pay utility bills and the basic necessities. I do receive my NBA pension monthly, but it is only enough to pay the total amount towards my mortgage to keep it current. So, I want to “make an ask” to any of you out there, who can see your way to helping me in any way you can.

My plan at this point is to go on a speaking circuit, talking about mental health challenges, especially to our school-age children, athletic teams and business groups around the country. Of course, these will be paid opportunities, so hopefully, within a couple of months or so, I can start generating revenue again and keep things current. So any help would be appreciated.

Thank you so much, I just wanted to give everyone an update since I received such an overwhelming, positive response to my article that I posted on social media last week.

Let’s keep being there for each other, and remember that beneath the smiles and the “altogether” outer persona of even the person next to you, you can bet, that most likely, they are “going through something”. Be sure to be a friend to them, and to be there for them.

All the best,

James Donaldson

4 comments on “James Donaldson on Mental Health

  1. James, I think of you often and really miss our close friendship. Our golf games gave us a chance to share our issues and to get to know each other. Our common business interests also drew us together. I regret that it was necessary for us to move to the East coast. Please know that you will be in my prayers and thoughts. I am proud of your willingness to share what is going on with you and to go on the speaking circuit. Let me know how it is going. Hang in there. You are one of the strongest men I know. I am glad you got help. Your friend forever, George Wilson

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


    • Greetings George,

      I hope all is well with you and thank you so much for reaching out with your show of support and encouragement. I miss our time together as well, but I think of you often.

      I don’t know if you saw my full article, but here is a link to it http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

      The blog that you responded to was just a follow-up showing my appreciation to everyone who’s been so supportive.

      Yes, this is just one of those things that we all will go through at some point or another, and is really a matter of how we work our way through it.

      Thanks so much for your friendship and your love.


  2. Remember you are not alone. We are praying for a turnaround. Not so easy but you will get there

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