The National Football League announced today a new comprehensive health program for former and current players that will provide additional resources to address personal issues. NFL TOTAL WELLNESS builds upon current NFL programs and services that assist members of the NFL family with matters such as physical and mental health, family safety, lifestyle and transition into their post-NFL life.
The initiative was launched today at a meeting at the NFL office in New York that included COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL and DR. DAVID SATCHER, as well as representatives from GRIDIRON GREATS, the NFL PLAYER CARE FOUNDATION and NFL PLAYER ENGAGEMENT.
DR. SATCHER, the 16th Surgeon General of the United States and current director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, will broaden his role with the NFL and serve as a mental health advisor. Dr. Satcher has conducted 14 mental health forums for NFL retired players and their families the past two years and will facilitate more events across the country.
The NFL TOTAL WELLNESS platform will help empower players to make positive health decisions; promote support-seeking behaviors in connection with behavioral and mental health issues; and provide health and safety education for players and all members of their support network, including spouses, parents, and children. The platform will expand on a number of NFL Player Engagement programs and service offerings.
Among the program’s services is NFL LIFE LINE, a new free, independent and confidential 24/7/365 phone consultation service and website developed and manned by third-party mental health professionals. NFL LIFE LINE provides support to all members of the NFL family in times of need and will be administrated by a group of national mental health experts that also operates a program for military service members with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
In an email today to more than 11,000 current and former players, plus club and league staff, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: “There is no higher priority for the National Football League than the health and wellness of our players. Members of our community are not immune to the challenges that all individuals face. As we enter what promises to be a very exciting 2012 season, we stand by our commitment to the total wellness of our current and former players. This service is here for you.”
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