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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

White Takes The Lead In Helping Others With Anxiety

Release: 04/03/2012
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DES MOINES, Iowa- Iowa State basketball star Royce White is proud to be an ambassador for people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. The Cyclone All-American let the public know about his condition in the middle of his star-studded 2011-12 season, leading Iowa State in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks while propelling the Cyclones back into the NCAA Tournament.

White's name and appeal has already helped hundreds of anxiety sufferers. E-mails, cards and letters are sent daily to the Iowa State men's basketball office praising White's courage. Tuesday, he found another way to help the cause.

White spent the afternoon addressing over 200 children about anxiety in an assembly at the Orchard Place Campus in Des Moines. Since the 1960s, the Orchard Place Campus has been a national leader in the treatment of children with emotional and behavioral disorders.

It was another way for White to inspire and encourage others.

"I feel it's my responsibility to help people who suffer from anxiety disorder," White said. "I know a lot of people haven't come forward about anxiety disorder.  I talked to my doctor and family, and they encouraged me to be open about it. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to help these kids today. It was an honor to be invited to The Orchard Place to help inspire and encourage these kids who are going through the same problems I am."

White talked for 10 minutes followed by a short speech from Dr. Donner Dewdney, an Orchard Place Psychiatrist. White was then presented a plaque and jersey from The Orchard Place before signing autographs and interacting with the kids.

Dewdney underscored the importance of White's transparency with his anxiety disorder.

"This is kind of a turning point," Dewdney said. "When athletes of Royce's stature are open about their disorder and kids see him being open about mental health, it changes the game for everybody. When somebody like Royce, who is a star athlete, comes out and says, 'It's no big deal, I'm working on it and I am still a success,' it gives permission for all the other kids to do that as well."


Orchard Place letters to Royce White

Dear Royce,
I think that it's great that you are coming to Orchard Place to express your views on life.  Everyone here can use a good word of encouragement! I think that it's awesome that you want to help people with mental health issues.  We don't often see somebody who wants to help us.  I hope you stick with your plans. I've had a hard life and come from a not so healthy's great to know there's an adult out there who can relate to me and actually cares. I love basketball as well.  It's a good sport.  What I love most about it is the adrenaline you get when you're on the court.  I love the lights, the whistles, the cheer of the crowd, and the squeaking of the floor.  It gets me pumped. I like and admire how you chose to give up a great opportunity for basketball to stay near your family.  Family is important and I'm sure that's why God helped you choose what you did.  You are God's light for this world.  You are a role model for me and I hope to never give up hope and to achieve much like you are.  Don't ever burn out!   -- Brianna

Dear Royce,
Thank you for coming to Orchard Place to talk to us.  I have a lot of anxiety issues.  It is really hard on me, and I'm really excited to see that people can go far, even with anxieties.  I love art, it is a great thing for me.  I am so excited.  I am really glad to see that someone is nice and considerate enough to come here for us.  Sorry, I'm sure there are spelling errors all over the page, not to mention my handwriting.  It is a great thing that people can actually care.  There have been a lot of times in my life that no one has cared.  I'm in the 8th grade.  Thanks again for coming to see us! - Cat

Dear Royce,
I am in the 6th grade and I wanted to tell you something.  Ever since I was little you have been my idol next to Britney Spears, but it is an honor to have you come to Orchard Place.  Since I was nine I've seen every one of your games. I even skipped school to come to one of your games and I want to welcome you to Orchard Place.  Good luck going pro.  I'll watch all of your games, it's a promise.  - Ramonie

Dear Royce,
Welcome to Orchard Place.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what you have or had problems with.  I think it would be nice to see how you overcame your problems.  I'm happy you're coming to talk to all of us kids because us kids need someone to look up to!  Thank you very much! - Lyle

Dear Royce,
I know you are probably kinda busy getting ready for that draft of yours, so take time to read this simple letter. I am a simple redhead with big dreams and heart.  I love how you take time to come to a little place like Orchard Place.  I know it makes a whole lot of us feel very special.  Thanks for taking your time! - Megan

Dear Royce,
All of us here at Orchard Place have different problems to work on.  I have heard that you have some of the same sort of problems as us.  Thank you for coming to see us. - Gabe

Dear Royce,
I heard that you have had some of the problems we've gone through and that's very inspiring to me that a person with my problems can come so far.  I wish you great luck on getting drafted to a professional team.  Good luck and thank you for coming.  You are a big inspiration to me and hopefully everyone here. - Mikayla

Dear Royce,
Thank you for coming to visit us.  We appreciate it and congratulations on your basketball career.  You followed your dream and you're an inspiration to all of us.  Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.  I admire you as a person, not just an athlete.  You are a role model for many.  It's an honor to have you coming.  Good luck in the NBA!  I hope you get to play with the Celtics! - Sarah

Dear Royce,
I think it's so amazing that you chose here... out of all the places to come here!  Lots of us kids aren't able to go home so it's nice once in a while to have someone out there to come and visit us.  You're awesome and you're great.  You're amazing.   - Abby

Dear Royce,
I'm glad you're coming to Orchard Place.  I've been to many of your games and I love ISU and you're one of my favorite basketball players and I hope you go to the Chicago Bulls.  - Chris

To watch interviews and a video of White's appearance at The Orchard Place, click on the play button on the photo above.


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