Behavioral Health Today

Part 1: Mental Health of Athletes & the NBA with Dr. William Parham – Episode 98

September 21, 2021

Athletes are aesthetically pleasing and like the theater, it's a venue for emotional expression. However, while we fans may be enjoying their performances we get to watch, we don't often fully appreciate the degrees of pressure on elite athletes. The win-it-all mentality presents a unique concern for the mental health among athletes. In this episode Dr. Graham Taylor is joined by Dr. William Parham the inaugural Director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Mental Health and Wellness Department. Together they discuss the psychological demands on professional and elite athletes and strategies to support their mental health. Everybody wins when you invest in the whole person and their mental health and wellness. 

For more information about the NBPA Mental Health and Wellness Department, please visit:

Other resources provided by Dr. Parham include:
HBO Special - Weight of Gold:
Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) Study:
ISSP Sports Psychology Consensus document:
West by West. Memoir shedding light on mental health in the NBA:
Washington Post, article One’s Mental Health in Olympic Athletes:
Aeon Magazine Invisible Tattoos - article on childhood trauma in athletes:
The Positive Coaching Alliance:


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