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Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Warren McClendon Jr., Ochaun Mathis
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Warren McClendon Jr., Ochaun Mathis / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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Rams have behavioral health clinician on site to aid players

Perhaps it is a result of backup QB Stetson Bennett's absence in 2023, or perhaps its the growing awareness of value of behavioral health to the success of a professional athlete, but the topic of the team's Mental Health Clinician came up in the press conference, and Coach McVay elaborated on the team's initiative in the field:

"We always talk about ‘person is greater than player,’ and if you want to be able to help these guys reach and realize their potential, not only as players, but more importantly as people.""

Rams HC Sean McVay

So what exactly does a Mental Health Clinician do for the team, and the players? The Ross Tucker Football Podcast covers the topic rather well. If you want to get past the introductions, start the video at or after the 5:00 mark. The actual timetable of topics include:

  • How she got the job with the Rams (5:35)
  • Her duties with the team (7:16)
  • The evolution of mental health advocates (13:36)
  • Players having trust issues with a team psychologist (19:31)

One of the factors about the fans' reactions over backup quarterback Stetson Bennett is the lack of empathy or even basic understanding of how the psychology of professional sports impacts success or even the basic health for players is a daily struggle for some players.

This is nothing new. Players are not suddenly 'weaker' by turning to professionals. The lack of a support system often led players to turn to alcohol as a method to manage anxieties and pressures of competitive sports. Dr. Carrie Hastings gives a solid and meaningful background of how the NFL and the LA Rams have tackled mental health issues of players, and I recommend everyone give this podcast a listen.