NFL launches Total Wellness initiative for current, former players

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The suicide of Junior Seau raised questions regarding whether the NFL does enough to help former players obtain assistance they need when encountering rough spots in their lives.

Less than three months after Seau’s passing, the league has launched “NFL Total Wellness,” aimed at helping current players, former players, and league and team personnel.

The league unveiled the program Thursday, announcing the effort after a meeting that included Commissioner Roger Goodell, Dr. David Satcher, and representatives of Gridiron Great, the NFL Player Care Foundation, and NFL Player Engagement.

“There is no higher priority for the National Football League than the health and wellness of our players,” Goodell said in a release.  “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.”

NFL Chief Human Resources Officer Robert Gulliver and NFL V.P. of player engagement Troy Vincent will lead the program.  In a Thursday letter to all NFL Personnel, a copy of which PFT has obtained, Vincent explains that NFL Total Wellness includes “NFL Life Line,” a “free, independent and confidential” phone service and website that will be available to “all members of the NFL family.”

NFL Life Line can be accessed 24 hours per day, seven days per week, every week of the year, and all calls and online inquiries will be strictly confidential and not shared with the league, teams, or any “related entity.”

Here’s hoping that players and coaches who need help will trust that the service is indeed confidential.  Players may have concerns in that regard; supposedly, that’s one of the reasons why the NFL disbanded its free-ride service for players who may have had too much to drink.  As a result, it’ll be important for the NFL to continue to reiterate that point.

6 responses to “NFL launches Total Wellness initiative for current, former players

  1. What about the NFLPA, the union that is supposed to represent players? The union takes player money in the form of dues for what? To pay the exhorbitant salary of DeMoron Smith who got badly snookered in the last CBA? The NFLPA owes these guys.

  2. So when I am 65 and might be able to retire ….

    I might have an office party thrown by obligation that no one really wants to attend. If the EA really likes me my cake will be silver and black, too expensive for a Raiders cake.

    Will I be open to a program to help me obtain assistance needed when encountering rough spots in my life? In the end of my productiveness in the work force…. I wont be 35, and I doubt 10 people will honestly care.

    Every day I wonder if I could further my family in a positive way if I received one million dollar bonus. Such troubles to have to deal with.

  3. “There is no higher priority for the National Football League than the health and wellness of our players”

    Looks like the Total BS initiative to me.

  4. “NFL Total Wellness Line, Tootsie speaking”

    “I need help!”

    “Yes sir, that’s what we’re here for, now can you identify yourself and give us your current or former NFL player code?”.

    “Grover Blazzpppttzzz..zppttzzt bzzzttsbatzz.. seven, I need help!”

    “I’m sorry sir there is an awful howling noise in the background and I can’t understand you…..the wind is howling? Perhaps you can come out of it?….You’re on top of a bridge?….That may not be the best place to call from, can you try a different location?…….

    Yes, I realize you need help sir, but we have to verify that you’re a member of the NFL family, first…..There is too much static……..It’s coming from inside your head sir?….I don’t think that’s possible….it sounds like echos of a ringing bell…….Sir, please don’t use that language….let’s try again, shall we…..Sir….Sir?…..”.

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