Washington Football Team names psychologist as team’s first wellness director in an effort to emphasize ‘a proactive approach to mental health’
- The Washington Football Team on Tuesday called psychologist Dr. Barbara Roberts Hired as the First Full-Time Director of Wellness and Clinical Services
- Hiring Roberts is part of the team’s effort to focus on mental health
- Roberts becomes only the fourth full-time clinician with a Ph.D. in psychology currently works for an NFL club. She previously worked with the competition agency
- In Washington, Roberts plans to create a system to develop players’ coping mechanisms and other mental health tools. Players have a daily checklist
- The hire comes after Naomi Osaka’s decision to skip the French Open due to concerns about her mental health, which has attracted more attention from athletes
The Washington Football Team has psychologist Dr. Barbara Roberts was hired as the first full-time director of Wellness and Clinical Services in an effort to emphasize the mental health of its players.
Roberts becomes only the fourth full-time clinician with a Ph.D. in psychology currently works for an NFL club, according to the team’s press release.
The hiring comes on the heels of tennis star Naomi Osaka’s decision to skip the French Open due to concerns about her mental health, and it represents a growing trend within the sporting world.
The Washington Football Team hired psychologist Dr. Barbara Roberts as the first Director of Wellness and Clinical Services in an effort to highlight the mental health of its players
Roberts (pictured) becomes only the fourth full-time clinician with a Ph.D. in psychology currently works for an NFL club, according to the team’s press release
Roberts has previously worked with NFL players who were at high risk for substance abuse, such as alcohol, opioids, sedatives and marijuana. Previously, when a player tested positive for a banned substance, she was brought in to interview and evaluate the person in question and make recommendations as to whether they should continue checking urinalysis or therapy, according to her bio. with the American Psychological Association.
In Washington, Roberts plans to create a system to develop players’ coping mechanisms and other mental health tools. That system includes daily mental health work for players.
“I look forward to this opportunity to advance the NFL Total Wellness mission,” Roberts said in a statement, referring to a league initiative that began in 2012. “I will focus on developing a foundation for mental wellbeing and its impact on overall health and performance. I am very thankful for [WFT owners] Dan and Tanya Snyder and Coach Rivera for this great opportunity to further develop a culture of wellness.”
“Mental health is one of the most important factors in ensuring our players are prepared for the challenges of life in the NFL,” head coach Ron Rivera said in the team’s press release. ‘Dr. Roberts brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be a great resource for our players. Her impressive track record speaks for itself and I am delighted to have her join our team.”
Roberts previously worked in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as a senior analyst and remains an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University Medical Center after serving as an associate professor at the school, according to the release. Her LinkedIn page states that she worked at the White House from 1994 to 2003.
“I enjoyed going through the application process for this invaluable role in our medical department,” WFT chief trainer and director of sports medicine Ryan Vermillion said in a statement. Coach Rivera, Dr. Casolaro, Malcolm Blacken (Senior Director of Player Development), and I all agreed that Dr. Roberts fits perfectly into the vision we had for this role. It’s exciting to work for an organization that emphasizes a proactive approach to mental health.’
In her statement, Roberts said she is “deeply grateful for” [WFT owners] Dan (pictured) and Tanya Snyder and Coach Rivera for this great opportunity’