DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons want to make sure that the next generation feels even more comfortable talking about mental wellness.
So representatives from the team joined the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan to talk about coping strategies. Pistons assistant coach of player development JD DuBois moderated a virtual panel on Tuesday night with several members of the organization.
The panelists included head coach Dwane Casey, general manager Troy Weaver, point guard Brandon Knight, psychotherapist Corey Yeager and owner of YogaFlow, Kerrie Trahan.
The goal of Tuesday’s panel was to have an open conversation about coping mechanisms in times of stress.
“The more we can normalize, talking about how we’re feeling, talk about ways that we can be proactive about our healing and not reactive, the better,” DuBois said.
There has been a lot of upheaval in the country as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic and systemic barriers that affect people of color.
One of the reasons the Pistons participated in this panel is because Black and brown communities often do not have access to or trust in resources geared toward mental wellness.
That’s why DuBois turned to Casey, Weaver and Knight to share their thoughts on mental wellness. The hope was that kids watching would have someone on the panel that they could relate to.
The group talked about the stress and the coping mechanisms that can be used to self-regulate. They talked about how to cope with the anxiety that comes with feeling isolated as people socially distance themselves in the wake of the pandemic.
“If they can see someone like coach Casey share their journey, they can see that journey in their vision and draw hope.” Dr. Yeager said.
Partnering with the Boys and Girls Clubs has also given the Pistons a chance to foster a sense of community with the children the organization serves. In Weaver’s case, he recognized how important a community can be to building the future generation.
“Community is everything, it is where we get our leadership from,” Weaver said. “It’s where we get our confidence from. If you look at all the great leaders, more times than not they had a strong community to build them up. Look at our past history, most of our lives come from a strong community.”
Part of creating that sense of community includes lifting each other up. DuBois encouraged those in attendance to do just that as he wrapped up Tuesday night’s panel.
“Let’s try to make sure that we’re pouring into others just as much as we pour into ourselves,” DuBois said. “Let’s not use all of our energy, all of our resources for ourselves.”