Radio broadcaster for the UCLA Bruins and New York Mets, Josh Lewin, launched a mental health website to help those who are suffering from anxiety and depression.
Lewin’s okaytogether.com will offer advice from experts and direction to organizations that can help someone suffering from anxiety. The site will also share stories from athletes and entertainers discussing mental health issues and ways they cope with it.
“The first step, to me, is coming to peace with the fact that you’re playing the game,” Lewin told the L.A. Times. “You don’t really choose it, it chooses you and what I’ve told people is, if you’ve ever sat down to play a video game and you realize that your console control wasn’t hooked up, you’re mashing the A button and the B button and your character just isn’t moving, it’s frozen, and the monsters are coming at you, that’s a horrible feeling and my guess, the more that I kind of peel the layers back, is that that’s where a lot of people are. They just kind of feel like they don’t even have that ability to figure out the first step or what the hell this is that they’re dealing with.
“The website isn’t how to beat the game, it’s just simply about how to at least get your console working so that you can begin the process of avoiding the monsters. It’s Step 1, just realize that you’re part of a community that’s welcoming.”
Lewin, who has been open about suffering from depression and anxiety, began thinking of ways to help others with the same issues after the self-inflicted deaths of San Diego Chargers Junior Seau and Paul Oliver . Lewin was the Chargers play-by-play announcer at the time.
Following the recent suicides of former UCLA basketball players Tyler Honeycutt and Billy Knight, Lewin felt compelled to create the website to help give those suffering from depression and anxiety a space where they wouldn’t feel alone.
It can be difficult for people to understand why someone who appears to “have it all” would suffer from depression as Lewin previously noted.
“When I struggled with anxiety and depression in my last couple years as the Texas Rangers’ baseball play-by-play announcer, the few people in whom I confided expressed genuine shock. “Depressed? About what? You’ve got a great job! Legions of adoring fans! A wonderful family! Dude, what’s your problem?”
Lewin continued, “In an anxious state, all I could see were the things I couldn’t do or didn’t have, and the person I couldn’t be. I had no appreciation whatsoever for anything I already was. No matter what I did, I had this foreboding sense that it would never be enough. And if the people in my life who mattered had the “gall” to appreciate or acknowledge the talents of others, I took it as a punch in the face. It was a scary, lonely, exhausting way to go through life.”
After learning ways to find peace himself and seeing others around him continue to struggle, Lewin hopes his website, okaytogether.com, can provide a starting point for people suffering from depression and anxiety to get help.