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NFL Aims at Protecting the Physical and Mental Health of Its Players

By January 30, 2013May 4th, 2013No Comments

Mental Health 7In an effort to address the serious physical and mental concerns raised by its current and former players, the NFL Life Line alerts players and their families regarding the symptoms of mental health disorders, signals of crisis, and how to obtain professional help. Announcement of NFL Total Wellness comes on the heels of a slew of lawsuits for brain injuries and the recent suicide of NFL linebacker, Junior Seau.

Ken Stabler, who played quarterback for the Raiders, was listed as the first plaintiff in a federal lawsuit citing 73 cases of injury sustained by over 2,400 former NFL players who are now suing the organization for failing to protect and inform them regarding dangers of the sport. The NFL veterans argue that the NFL could have done more to shield them from trauma caused by repeated head impact, among other statements.

Seau, one of 13 known NFL suicides over the past 25 years, shot himself last May, just two-and-a-half years after retirement. His family sent brain tissue to the National Institutes of Health for further examination.

A Huffington Post article reports a similar instance occurring in February 2011, when Dave Duerson, safety for the Chicago Bears, also shot himself. In his suicide note, Duerson requested that his brain be analyzed for trauma.

The symptoms of a mental health disorder can be present for months or years, and are often misdiagnosed. They can include  fatigue, inability to sleep, anxiousness, lack of concentration, irritability, body aches or depression. These symptoms can be masked by other health problems and may escalate to crisis levels without the knowledge of friends of family members.  Family Guidance Center has as team of mental health professionals that can help identify and diagnose mental health problems, and lead individuals toward a treatment plan that addresses the emotional, social, physical aspects of mental illness. Contact Family Guidance Center today if you need help.