Since 2015, the NBA has made major strides in the mental health department.

Now, the league is taking things a few steps further.

The NBA reportedly informed all 30 teams of the changes to the league’s mental health program ahead of the 2019-20 season, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick. The alterations come as an increasing amount of players have spoken up about the issue and its impact on the sport.

According to a memo received by The Athletic, here’s what the new guidelines entail:

— Retain and make available to players on a voluntary basis one to two mental health professionals who are licensed in their field and locality, and with experience in assessing and treating clinical mental health issues.

— Identify a licensed psychiatrist (M.D. or D.O.) to be available to assist in managing player mental health issues.

— Enact a written action plan for mental health emergencies.

— Put in place procedures for communicating to players and team staff the team’s practices with respect to privacy and confidentiality.

— Attend a Sept. 12 “health and wellness meeting” in Chicago where these matters will be discussed and analyzed even further.


The NBA is leaps and bounds ahead of other professional sports leagues when it comes to addressing the mental health of its players and employees. And while they’ve been making steady progress, it’s exciting (and a bit heartwarming) to see league’s continued willingness to tackle the issue.

Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images