Neither Hart nor Tsaousides’ studies included former NFL players as participants, as far as they are aware. Tsaousides did not ask participants about the nature of their injury, a decision he regrets. although Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, where Tsaousides works, can be one of six medical schools around the nation partnered with the NFL Player Care Foundation neurological program, which evaluates as well as treats “possible neurological conditions” in retired players, with specialized care coordinated by a neurologist. Tsaousides recruited participants partly by posting fliers around the facility; the item’s possible some former NFL players participated, though he notes most were recruited online.
The NFL has historically sidestepped the link between CTE/TBI as well as the mental as well as emotional problems experienced by current as well as retired players. Lately there have been some encouraging steps: NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills recently voiced support for exploring medical marijuana for treatment of TBI, a previously controversial stance within the organization. In addition to the neurological program, the NFLPCF, which looks after the affairs of retired players, offers free monthly screening sessions.
There can be also the NFL Life Line, a free, confidential hotline open to all current as well as former players in crisis, who can call (800) 506-0078 as well as speak using a trained, licensed mental health counselor who can often help connect them with resources. Common topics include “relationship issues, financial stress, difficulty with transition, depression, anxiety, bereavement, chronic pain or suicidal thoughts,” Life Line program director Ciara Dockery wrote in an email, noting in which such issues are also present from the general population. Retired players as well as their families are also entitled to eight free therapy sessions, although the item can be unclear how many avail themselves of This specific resource.
“So many of these guys are taught via an early age in which asking for help means admitting ‘weakness,’ something they have worked so hard not to show on the field,” Dockery wrote. “We are trying to make the item okay for them to ask for help, to show them in which getting support for themselves can be actually a sign of extreme strength.”
Even more important, the NFL launched Play Smart, Play Safe, an initiative to drive progress from the prevention, diagnosis as well as treatment of head injuries. the item also aims to improve the way the game can be taught as well as played. The league has pledged $100 million in support for independent medical research as well as biomechanical research to improve helmet technology.
Still, Chris Kluwe, who retired via the Oakland Raiders in 2013 after previously playing for the Minnesota Vikings as well as Seattle Seahawks, as well as has since had a successful writing career, says in which the NFL does not provide enough support to departing as well as retired players. Their struggles have been well documented — about 78 percent go bankrupt within two years of retirement. In addition, there are harrowing individual stories of current as well as former players detailing suicide, violence as well as substance abuse.
NFL insurance coverage extends for several years after retirement, after which players are mostly on their own, Kluwe said. Upon retirement, the NFL also provides a modest lump sum for medical expenses, although CTE can be a chronic, degenerative disease requiring long-term rehabilitative care, which can stretch players to the limit financially. The NFLPCF does not pay for treatment from the neurological program, although players can apply for grants. the item also does not currently offer any telemedicine-counseling services in which researchers are pushing for, according to Dockery, the Life Line director, some other than technically the Life Line itself, which players can access by calling on the phone.