Major League Baseball launches "MLB Together" as new social responsibility platform
New Mental Health & Wellness Initiative Debuts as Part of MLB Together; Cancer Survivor Liam Hendriks Named MLB Together Ambassador
Major League Baseball today announced the debut of “MLB Together,” the League’s new platform emphasizing Baseball’s efforts to make important societal contributions through the power of partnership and community. MLB Together will embody the sport’s guiding principles of community engagement, nonprofit partnerships, social impact and volunteerism. The platform will also feature a new mental health and wellness initiative geared toward youth. Three-time All-Star and recent cancer survivor Liam Hendriks will serve as an MLB Together Ambassador.
MLB Together will serve as an ongoing call-to-action for everyone across the game, including fans, to get involved in their communities through a diverse offering of goodwill, legacy and charitable programs. More information about this work, which MLB, its Clubs and its partners have been committed to for decades, is available at MLBTogether.com. As part of the launch, MLB is debuting a new MLB Together video spot featuring Major League players, including Roberto Clemente Award winners Adam Wainwright and Nelson Cruz.
Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “MLB Together represents the very best of what our sport means to our fans and our communities. Baseball’s ability to bring people together through shared values and addressing common causes has helped secure the game’s status within our culture. We look forward to working with our Clubs, partners, players and fans to make a meaningful community impact through the MLB Together platform.”
The MLB Together platform will operate within seven pillars and corresponding guiding principles, partnerships and programs, including:
- Youth Empowerment –
- Mental health, wellness, belonging & bullying prevention
- Encouraging physical activity and access to baseball & softball
- Educational, professional and workforce development support
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion –
- Closing equity gaps for underrepresented communities
- Voting education & access
- Domestic & Physical Safety –
- Prevention and survivor support in the areas of domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking
- Health Research & Resources –
- As the founding donor of Stand Up To Cancer, continue addressing causes focused on cancer, as well as Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”
- Military Family & Veteran Resources –
- Resources, support services and tributes for military families, veterans and active service members
- Disaster Relief – Active membership of the American Red Cross Disaster Responder program
- MLB Green – Environmental sustainability & greening initiatives
Launching during Mental Health Awareness Month, MLB’s new mental health & wellness program is aimed at public awareness, de-stigmatizing conversations around mental health, providing education & resources, and interactive support with a special emphasis on youth. The goal is to raise awareness of mental health issues, build communities leading to mental wellness, and encourage those connected to the game (fans, employees, players and team personnel) to ask for help when necessary. The program will revolve around the following:
- Awareness – Sharing inspiring and powerful stories of influential Baseball figures, including players.
- Education – EVERFI from Blackbaud will operate an online educational course for students in grades 8-10 within all 30 MLB Club regions. The course will consist of six 10-minute online modules around understanding mental wellness.
- Support – In partnership with Crisis Text Line, MLB and its Clubs will share information about how young fans, parents and anyone engaged with our game can receive free, confidential mental health and crisis support in English and Spanish by texting “MLB” to 741741. Volunteer Crisis Counselors at Crisis Text Line are there 24/7 to support anyone in need, dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, and self-harm. The Crisis Text Line information (“MLB” to 741741) will be displayed throughout all Ballparks, on MLB Network and on various MLB digital platforms.
- PSA – MLB will debut a new public service announcement featuring MLB players, including Carlos Correa, Austin Meadows, Carlos Rodón, Kenley Jansen, CJ Abrams and Kolten Wong, among others. The PSA will air in MLB ballparks, during national and local MLB games, and across MLB media platforms.
Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warned about the epidemic of loneliness and isolation in country, following his concerns about youth mental health in 2022, particularly for minority and marginalized young people.
According to the CDC: [https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/mental-health/index.htm]
- In 2021, (42%) of high school students felt persistently sad or hopeless, nearly one-third (29%) experienced poor mental health, more than 22% of students seriously considered attempting suicide, and 10% attempted suicide.
- These feelings were found to be more common among LGBQ+ students, female students, and students across racial and ethnic groups, while black students were more likely to attempt suicide than students of other races and ethnicities.
For over two decades, MLB and its 30 Clubs have provided mental health & wellness support for players, umpires, coaches, staff members and their families, including (a) Employee Assistance Professionals offering free and confidential services to players, umpires, coaches, staff members and their families; (b) all Clubs providing confidential mental health resources to players on a voluntary basis through licensed psychologists, psychiatrists or other mental health clinicians; (c) joint MLB-MLBPA treatment boards for a variety of mental health concerns and behaviors; (d) a Player Resource Center for current and former players on support and counseling; (e) providing all minor league players, umpires and MLB staff with access to Unmind workplace wellbeing platform; and (f) player and Club educational and awareness initiatives including Rookie Career Development and Ahead in the Count.
As part of the seven pillars of MLB Together, the platform will highlight meaningful, long-standing MLB initiatives, including:
- Support of National Charitable Partnerships: Jackie Robinson Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
- Cause-based Celebrations of Baseball Legends: Jackie Robinson Day, Roberto Clemente Day, Lou Gehrig Day
- Cause-based Event & Legacy Activations: All-Star and World Series Legacy Programs, MLB World Tour Community Programs, Mother’s Day/Breast Cancer Awareness, Father’s Day/Prostate Cancer Awareness, Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, 9/11 Day of Service, Armed Forces Day & Memorial Day