Giving Compass’ Take:
· According to David Newton at ESPN, the Carolina Panthers have hired a mental health clinician in hopes to address depression and anxiety in the NFL.
· How will this news influence the conversation surrounding mental health in men and in general?
In early August, Steve Smith revealed he had had bouts of depression while an active player with the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens. He talked about feeling “trapped, inferior and alone.”
Carolina’s all-time leading receiver spoke out after the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. Smith also referred to Brian Dawkins’ battle with depression and thoughts of suicide the Pro Bowl safety discussed in late July as he was about to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The prevalence of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses in people in all walks of life — including the NFL — led the Panthers to hire therapist Tish Guerin. She is one of the first — and currently believed to be the only — active in-house psychological clinicians in the league.
While most teams have a licensed mental health practitioner available for players and staff members on a contract basis, Guerin, 35, has an office at Bank of America Stadium. She is readily available to any player or staff member seeking help.
Being onsite also helps her observe any potential changes in the mood or behavior of a player that could be an early warning sign. It’s a step, Carolina coach Ron Rivera said, toward stressing that the mental and emotional welfare of an athlete is just as important as the physical welfare.
Read the full article about mental health in the NFL by David Newton at ESPN.
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