NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an innovative, science-driven pharmaceutical company founded on the belief that patients should always come first, recognizes that mental health is important for everyone—including professional athletes.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five adults in the U.S. suffer from mental health-related conditions, a number exacerbated in the athletic community. Research suggests that up to 35% of elite athletes may experience anxiety and depression. Living under a magnifying glass, athletes are expected to perform at the highest level while maintaining a well-balanced life.
Vivera recognizes the importance of mental health and understands that it is one of the greatest challenges society is combatting today. To support treatment options for mental health disorders, Vivera created its neurosciences division, with a primary focus on psychiatric and neurological conditions. The Company is currently developing three new medications targeted at treating mental health disorders. When it comes to patient wellness, Vivera takes a whole-patient approach, developing therapies while advocating for patient-centric care.
While mental health has been a topic on the sidelines of professional sports for years, the increasing number of professional athletes stepping forward to share their personal struggles has recently brought mental health awareness into the spotlight.
Four-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka, prioritized her mental well-being by announcing that she would not participate in news conferences during the French Open. Osaka was fined $15,000, informed she could be suspended from future Grand Slam tournaments, and warned she could face harsher penalties if she continued avoiding the media. Ultimately, she decided to put her mental health first by withdrawing from the tournament.
“We stand in support of Naomi and the millions of athletes that are placed in difficult situations every day. As a former athlete and competitive tennis player, I understand the intensity of the pressure athletes face,” said Chairman and CEO of Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Paul Edalat. “I have a lot of respect for Naomi and the maturity she displayed in not only standing up for her mental health regardless of the consequences, but also for offering to be a part of a better solution amicable to the players, tournaments, press, and fans for the future. Mental illness should be recognized as a disability.”
Osaka isn’t the only professional athlete to stand up to the press for their mental health. A few months prior to Osaka’s statement, NBA champion Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets point guard and shooting guard, publicly announced that he would no longer talk to reporters. Later, he admitted to struggling with his mental health.
As a person who suffers from depression, Kevin Love, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, uses his platform to share his story and let others struggling with mental illness to know they are not alone. Today, his work in mental health awareness is recognized worldwide, and he has won various awards for his contributions.
When athletes sustain visible, physical injuries, they are allowed to heal. In contrast, mental health, which can take a massive toll on athletes, is not always obvious and often not treated at all. It is Vivera’s firm belief that mental health should be prioritized, and members of the athletic community should be supported to not only prioritize their physical health, but their emotional health as well.
“We must be aware that no one is immune from mental illness,” stated Vivera’s Chief Neurosciences Advisor, Dr. Gerald A. Maguire. “We continue to carry the stigma that mental illness is unable to attack those who are strong physically and have power, money, and fame. However, we must realize that athletes are actually often at greater risk. Our society and media need to gain a greater understanding of mental illness and express empathy toward it.”
At Vivera, we understand that mental illness is a real disability, and it should be treated as such. Instead of scrutinizing and penalizing athletes for their struggles, they should be supported, and their mental health should be taken seriously. By continuing to research and develop innovative therapies, we can begin to alleviate the negative physical and emotional impacts these disorders can have on those affected.
About Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an innovative, science-driven pharmaceutical company located in Southern California. The Company has global exclusivity to license the patented and patent-pending TABMELT® sublingual drug delivery system for pharmaceutical use and owns its own patents on ZICOH®, a controlled, medication dispensing device. In addition to its pharmaceutical, neurosciences, medical device, and medical technology divisions, the Company provides testing solutions through its advanced diagnostics division. Vivera Pharmaceuticals is vertically integrated with patented technology, manufacturing capabilities, and distribution for its products.
Contact: Megan Kay