Metta World Peace becomes “Metta Man” for mental health awareness (VIDEO)

Before he elbowed James Harden in the head and suddenly became evil again, Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest) had undergone something of a public transformation by speaking out on the importance of mental health awareness. He's devoted himself to various mental health charities over the past few years, and he even earned the league's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award last season for his work.

Despite the latest blow to his reputation, MWP is still hard at work for the cause. So, naturally, he is now starring in a public service announcement as Metta Man, a superhero who skateboards on tall buildings, dunks basketballs, and does all kinds of other things you would not expect to appear in a PSA on this topic. Oh, plus the production values are solidly mid-'90s, and potentially cribbed from unaired episodes of an especially cheap cartoon from that era.

There's something a little weird about producing a PSA for mental health awareness that's this bizarre. However, there's also something fitting about the clip, because it helps demonstrate an important aspect of mental health awareness. Therapy is less about curing mental health problems than helping the person become more comfortable with them so that he might control or learn how to live with them. To put it another way, Metta shouldn't feel the need to suppress the weirder aspects of his personality, because that's just who he is. What he wants to avoid are incidents like the Harden elbow, where he becomes reckless and channels that energy in a negative way.

This PSA, no matter its aesthetic peculiarities, is positive. We don't have to think it effective, but it's not something to be wholly mocked.

(Video via With Leather)