The effects of anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have made their way onto the greatest stage in professional basketball, drawing attention to the growing need for accessible mental health resources. Viral and globally renowned panic attack and anxiety app Rootd offers free premium access to anyone struggling.

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE] October 10, 2020 – Viewers watched in surprise as Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George’s shots bounced off the rim against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 (4-of-17), Game 3 (3-of-16), and Game 4 (3-of-14) of their first-round playoff series. Rather than place blame on any external factors, George was honest about what he was facing on the court:

“I underestimated mental health, honestly,” George told ESPN. “I had anxiety, a little bit of depression.”

This statement came after he and other NBA players spent weeks isolated in a quarantined campus as a preventative measure against the COVID-19 virus. The mental health impacts were felt by more than just George.
“Mental health is the biggest thing that a lot of us players think of first… especially coming out of quarantine and a lot of us being in situations that we’ve never been in before, and now we’re going into an even tougher situation,” shared Oklahoma City Thunder guard and National Basketball Players Association President Chris Paul.

Stories of mental health struggles happening on one of the world’s largest stages help raise needed awareness, but what still far too often goes unnoticed are the millions of individuals around the world who suffer in silence every day.

Studies predict an explosive increase in mental illness for years after COVID-19, and institutions such as the World Health Organization are increasingly concerned that substantial investment is needed to avert mental health crises. There have been over 7 million COVID-19 cases in North America, and over 36 million cases worldwide, and since March the pandemic has resulted in over 20 million jobs being lost in the US. COVID-19 has placed immense challenges and pressure on people – from worries about loss of jobs, finances, or even life, to the lack of social interactions, to the demands of balancing working from home with child care, and much more.

Rootd, an app for those suffering from panic attacks and anxiety, has been helping hundreds of thousands of users during the worst of the pandemic. Rootd works by blending an immediately accessible method for managing anxiety and panic attacks as they happen, with uniquely engaging design. As a response to the recent surge in the prevalence of anxiety, Rootd is offering free premium access to its complete content for individuals worldwide. 

“Dealing with anxious thoughts can be difficult for anyone, including professional athletes, and adding on a feeling of isolation as we practice social distancing can increase the difficulty we are faced with.” says Ania Wysocka, Rootd’s founder. “By providing in-the-moment panic and anxiety relief my hope is that we can reduce the negative impacts of isolation and support those who are currently struggling on and off the courts.”

The NBA athletes’ experiences, and the Rootd app’s free premium offering, come in time for World Mental Health Day 2020 on Saturday October 10th, a day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. 

“Events such as World Mental Health Day draw attention to the rise of anxiety and panic attacks in our lives and work environments” commented Wysocka. “Providing individuals access to Rootd is a simple and meaningful way for us to continue our mission and help those struggling, no matter their situation.”

And Wysocka believes there are plenty of reasons to stay positive. After just a one week break during the playoffs, George fully redeemed himself scoring 35 points in just 25 minutes against the Mavericks, helping his team to a 43-point blowout win. When given the proper attention and support they require, mental health challenges such as anxiety and panic attacks can be addressed, and free tools like Rootd are designed to be accessible to all.

To redeem the free premium access offer, anyone is invited to visit covid19response.rootd.io where they can immediately sign up to be granted 45 days of free, no commitment access.

About Rootd 
Rootd is “anxiety and panic attack relief in your pocket”. The female-founded resource is the #1 ranked mobile app for Panic Attack and Anxiety Relief on the Apple App Store and Google Play, helping users in over 150 countries.

The award-winning application blends stigma-breaking design, on-demand accessibility, therapist-approved exercises including a panic button, deep breathing tool, and guided body scan visualizations, and a caring blue monster companion, to help users during all stages of managing panic attacks and anxiety.

Rootd is currently available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Chinese worldwide on iPhone and Android, and now Apple Watches. 

Anyone seeking mental health support during COVID-19 can go to http://covid19response.rootd.io/ to get free premium access to the Rootd app’s complete content.