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August 08, 2019

NBA to implement new mental health guidelines for 2019-2020 season

Including no-brainers like having licensed mental health pros, psychiatrists on staff

Professional sports can be a mental as well as a physical game. One league is taking that concept to the next level. 

Reportedly, the National Basketball Association is contemplating an update to current mental health guidelines for the 2019-2020 playing season.

Complex reports that the league is slated to introduce the new guidelines — which are to be followed by all 30 teams — to officials during a mental health and wellness summit on the books for September 12 in Chicago.

RELATED READ: NFL inching toward approving marijuana as pain treatment for players

This update comes after a number of professional basketball players spoke out about their mental health struggles this season, including Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan, Popsugar reports. 

The updated guidelines are rumored to include the addition of one to two licensed mental health professionals and a licensed psychiatrist to be available to players, Complex reports. Additionally, it is expected that teams will be required to created a plan of operations for when a mental health emergencies arises.

The NBA’s fledgling mental health and wellness program was just created last year, so these guidelines are the first update to the program. It was founded and headed by Keyon Dooling, whose career included time spent with the Nets when the team was based in New Jersey.

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