Former NBA player James Donaldson Shares Story of Overcoming Mental Health Challenges

James Donaldson

The DEJI (Diversity, Equity, Justice & Inclusion) program regularly features interviews with people who share their insights and experiences in addressing mental health issues. We hope these interviews will help educate our community members and assist our Team Members in serving and treating clients, especially those from diverse backgrounds. 

Today, we share a recent interview with former NBA player and author James Donaldson. Donaldson, who also owned his own sports therapy business, is also running for Seattle mayor. He is also a featured speaker along with Sound’s Ryan Lindsey at the Take Control of Your Health webinar on July 10, 9:30 am – 12 noon. That event is sponsored by the Seattle NAACP.

Link to Take Control of Your Health

· Zoom:

· Phone: 253-215-8782, Meeting ID: 919 9489 9065

Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator Kevin Henry recently interviewed the 63-year-old, 7 ft. 2 in Donaldson who talked candidly about his struggle with mental health issues, which included battling a vice-like depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. 

Donaldson’s story could have had tragic consequences, but thanks to a tight circle of supportive friends and doctors, he has picked up the pieces of his life which include writing a book titled “Celebrating Your Gift of Life”. Furthermore, he founded the non-profit Your Gift of Life Foundation which advocates for people who are affected by mental health issues.

Hopefully, Donaldson’s story will motivate others to reach out, and not experience shame related to trauma, depression, and another mental health diagnosis. 

“Having gone through depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story,” Donaldson says.

Here is the link to the 25-minute interview.

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