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Metta World Peace talks mental health awareness at L.A. school

March 1, 2012 |  8:31 am

Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace -- the Lakers forward formerly known as Ron Artest -- will speak to students Thursday at Edward Roybal Learning about mental health awareness and his own struggle for wellness and recovery.

The event will launch National School Social Work Week, and is part of countywide bulletin campaign carrying World Peace's message of "hope, wellness and recovery."

He has spoken quite a bit publicly about his own mental health issues -- including appearing before Congress -- and raffled off his NBA title ring to raise $600,000 for the cause.

"When I was a kid, I did see a counselor," he said at a September event, according to The Times' Lakers Now blog. "My mom helped me out, she realized I was having problems when I was 13 years old. She realized I was going through a lot.

"We have a big problem right here in America with mental health, from little boys not understanding what it takes to be a good dad or be a good older brother or a role model -- to violence."


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Photo: Minnesota Timberwolves forward Martell Webster, left, and Lakers forward Metta World Peace go after a loose ball in game Wednesday. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press