Keep calm, Calm app paid Naomi Osaka’s fines
Four-time Grand Slam singles championship player prioritizes mental health, drops out of French Open
When tennis champion Naomi Osaka dropped out of the French Open to take care of her mental health, critics came far and wide. There was all kinds of backlash about why her speaking to the press should be mandatory, regardless of her admitting the stress that resulted from doing so.
The same critics are noticeably quiet now that Swiss tennis player Roger Federer has withdrawn from the French Open following his third-round victory, citing a need to rest. Per usual, physical health seems to be something a select group of people can comprehend more than mental health — but not Calm app. The meditation and sleep app had a different idea in mind, and it wasn’t an ultimatum to deal with hundreds of microphones and nonstop questions before playing a game.
Although Osaka’s original plan was for her $15K fines to go toward a mental health charity while she still intended to play in the tournament, all four Grand Slam tournaments — the Australian Open, the French Open, the U.S. Open and the Wimbledon— warned her that she would be suspended if she continued to dodge the press. She doubled down and walked.
But when the Calm app got wind of the way she was being treated, the meditation mobile app confirmed that it would pay her fines and match the total with a donation of $15K to Laureus Sport in France, an organization “founded under the patronage of Nelson Mandela.”
In the past two decades, the Laureus Sport for Good has been supporting more than 200 programs in 40 countries. It intervenes to combat violence, discrimination and disadvantages faced by young people. With guidance from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their six focus areas are education; employability; health and well-being; an inclusive society; a peaceful society; and women’s and girls’ empowerment.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health via the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults (7.1% of the U.S. population age 18 and older) in a given year. More prevalent in women than men, the World Health Organization confirms that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. It’s also a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
While antidepressants and psychotherapy are common ways to treat depression, Harvard Research reports that regular meditation practice can assist by changing how the brain responds to stress and anxiety. Instead of blocking out or pushing away negative thoughts, meditation apps and meditation overall can help people acknowledge these thoughts without acting on them.
While some meditation mobile apps have payment plans, including Calm, others have free options like Insight and Meditation.com. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Calm had as many as 80 million downloads and $92 million in revenue. In recent years, regardless of the platform, there are reportedly anywhere from 200 to 500 million people who meditate.
Would you like to receive Shamontiel’s Weekly Newsletter via MailChimp? Sign up today!