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Report: NBA lays out new mental health program expectations for each team

Adam Silver, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Love

NBA stars Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan have been at the forefront of raising awareness of mental health issues, and The Association is taking further steps to ensure that all 30 NBA teams are on the same page when it comes to mental wellness.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic the NBA recently issued a league-wide memo that will now require all teams to adhere to the following guidelines on mental health:

• Retain and make available to players on a voluntary basis one to two mental health professionals who are licensed in their field and locality, and with experience in assessing and treating clinical mental health issues.

• Identify a licensed psychiatrist (M.D. or D.O.) to be available to assist in managing player mental health issues.

• Enact a written action plan for mental health emergencies.

• Put in place procedures for communicating to players and team staff the team’s practices with respect to privacy and confidentiality.

• Attend a Sept. 12 “health and wellness meeting” in Chicago where these matters will be discussed and analyzed even further.

It’s great that the league is now requiring teams to employ/retain at least one health professional who will be adept in handling mental health concerns. But to be honest, it’s a bit shocking to realize that at the moment, there might actually be some teams in the league who currently do not have these types of professionals on their current payroll.

It surely wouldn’t hurt to employ a trained health professional as part of the organization, especially considering how it is the health and well-being of their own players we are talking about here.