John Wall’s Honest Truth: A Heartfelt Exploration of Mental Health and Loss

In a recent episode of The OGs podcast, former NBA star John Wall opened up about his mental health struggles following the passing of his mother, Frances Pulley. Wall’s candid discussion highlighted the severe impact of grief on his well-being.

“Mental health is serious. I had to get a therapist after that. If it wasn’t for my two boys, I would have killed myself,” Wall revealed.

Wall, a Raleigh native who made five consecutive All-Star games before a series of injuries disrupted his career, previously shared his experience in The Player’s Tribune. His recent remarks have resonated widely, sparking conversations across social media.

“That was a really brave and powerful thing to say,” commented Bradford Hill, a licensed mental health counselor.

Hill, also from Raleigh, watched Wall’s rise as a high school phenom at Word of God Christian Academy. With experience counseling athletes at various levels, Hill stressed the importance of Wall’s message.

“I think (Wall and) many athletes emphasize that it’s not just about money. When you lose someone close to you, no amount of money can compensate for that loss. Money can’t solve emotional pain or grief,” Hill said.

According to Hill, there has been progress in addressing mental health, especially among Black people. Data from Mass General Brigham indicates that while 40% of White people who need mental health treatment seek it, only 25% of Black people do the same.

“We’re witnessing a shift in stigmas, reframing vulnerability as a masculine act, particularly for Black men,” Hill noted. “We’re taught to bottle it all in. So when someone like Wall leads by sharing his struggles, it is profoundly important.”

Jalan Ward, founder of TheProudBlackBrand, echoed this sentiment. Ward designed a T-shirt for winners of The John Wall Holiday Invitational Tournament, an event featuring top high school teams across the state.

“How it translates to the next generation is crucial. Ensuring these kids have a fighting chance in life is vital,” Ward said.

Hill praised Wall’s openness about seeking therapy. “I’m proud of him for owning his experience and saying ‘I have a therapist now that I see regularly.’ When role models speak out, it significantly shapes perceptions of mental health,” Hill added.

Wall’s mother, Frances Pulley, was a cherished local volunteer who died of cancer in 2019. In 2022, Wall attended a garden dedication ceremony at The Salvation Army of Wake County, where his mother had volunteered. The John Wall Family Foundation made a charitable donation during the event. A year later, the foundation dedicated a basketball court in her memory at Roberts Park in Raleigh.

Wall’s journey and his advocacy for mental health awareness continue to inspire many, demonstrating the strength found in vulnerability and the importance of seeking help.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *