The NBA is making progressive steps to actively support the players in their league in a massive way. The league announced that this upcoming season, every team will have one or two licensed mental health care professionals on staff to help their players that may be dealing with problems beyond physical means.
In this article from The Athletic, Sam Amick provided a part of the memo that was sent to the 30 NBA teams. The teams are now going to have the one or more mental health professionals for players to talk with, have a licensed psychiatrist available to the players, and even place protocols in place to protect players privacy.
The NBA have been on a trail to improving the mental health of their players since about 2015, when the league added Derick Anderson, Psy.D. into the mix for players to talk to when they need him. Now, with adding a staff of mental health professionals to each team, the players have better and more accessible licensed professional that are used to being around and knows them on a closer level.
Now, it’s about time that other leagues and teams begin to take that route. I’m not a big basketball fan but I admire the Hell out of what the NBA is doing for their players in order to help them lead better and happier lives.
Although there is more talk about mental health awareness now and people have begun to open up, the stigma that talking to someone about it is “not normal” can sometimes still hang in the air like a heavy fog. It’s time to open up the windows and let it out.
Players like Kevin Love and Keyon Dooling have opened up in Players’ Tribute articles (that are linked over their names) about their struggles. Royce White opened up a conversation about mental health when the league wouldn’t listen. Every player has a story and their struggles but these 3 players were open about there, sharing to tell others that getting help is okay.
There is nothing wrong about getting help and it’s fantastic that the NBA is displaying that among all of their teams. It reaches much further than that as well, this can change something within a fan’s mind. If a fan sees their favorite players thriving both on and off the court, it could give them the extra boost they might need to open up and talk about the things that they are struggling with.
If leagues like the NHL, MLB, NFL were to step up like that it could change thousands of live, if not a whole generation. The NBA is taking this one small step that is going to make a world of difference in the long run and I respect that so much. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’ NBA.
Featured Image: NBA.com