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Report: NBA Finalizes Expanded Mental Health Program, Adds Licensed Psychiatrists

The NBA released a memo requiring all 30 teams to retain at least one mental health professional on their staff in 2019-20.

The NBA announced an expanded set of mental health policies for 2019-20 on Wednesday, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

The league office reportedly issued a memo to all 30 teams, announcing the following measures required by each team for the upcoming season.

  • All teams must have at least one mental health professional on retainer. Each professional must have “experience in assessing and treating clinical mental health issues.”
  • Each organization must “identify a licensed psychiatrist” available to help manage any mental health concerns.
  • All teams must, “enact a written action plan for mental health emergencies.”
  • All 30 teams need to attend a “health and wellness meeting” in Chicago in September.

The NBA’s changes come after a slate of players revealed their battles with mental health both before and during their time in the league. Kevin Love and Keyon Dooling wrote personal essays on the matter for The Player’s Tribune. DeMar DeRozan discussed his own battle with depression with the Toronto Star’s Doug Smith

Commissioner Adam Silver discussed the league’s emphasis on mental health in February.

“When I meet with (NBA players), what surprises me is that they’re truly unhappy,’’ Silver said at the Sloan Conference in Boston. “A lot of these young men are generally unhappy.”


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