Free mental health care available thanks to Giannis and health care provider

NOW: Free mental health care available thanks to Giannis and health care provider

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Hundreds of people in Milwaukee are now eligible for free mental health care thanks to a new partnership involving the city's biggest star.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is working with Antidote Health to make sure people have access to board-certified physicians.

Cost is often cited as a key reason people do not pursue mental health care, but Antidote's free telehealth services are designed to remove that barrier.

Avi Sodri, the Co-Founder & CEO of Antidote Health, said, "This is our way of having health care more accessible to every person in the United States."

Sodri said health care is a fundamental right, and so the company is changing thousands of lives with this accessibility.

The "Leave No One Behind" program is made possible by a $1 million commitment from the Charles Antetokounmpo Family Foundation and Antidote.

Sodri said it started last summer when Giannis joined Antidote as an investor, adding mental health is something pro athletes understand. He said, "It was something we wanted to solve, and help people who have this need."

And in Wisconsin there's a big need.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 859,000 adults in Wisconsin alone have a mental health condition. For 244,000 of those individuals, the condition is considered serious.

And of the 266,000 Wisconsin adults who did not receive mental health care in the past year but needed it, 37.3% said it was due to cost.

Sodri said, "It affects many aspects of their lives: whether they can change their work, be afraid of losing coverage, where they can move to other towns, other states."

Several hundred people are joining Antidote every day. The no-charge services include: an evaluation, clinical diagnosis, medication management, and follow-up visits.

Antidote is able to offer services within one day of signing up, in some cases in just a few hours.

Sodri said having Giannis' support is a great inspiration for people who may be struggling.

Sodri said, "To see a person in his position taking the time and effort to join us and help us in our journey is something we admire."

Click here to access the free services right now on Antidote's website.

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