In an offseason marked by Junior Seau's suicide and scores of lawsuits over brain injuries, the NFL on Thursday launched a comprehensive wellness program for current and retired players including a confidential mental health phone line.
"There is no higher priority for the National Football League than the health and wellness of our players," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in an email Thursday to more than 11,000 players announcing NFL Total Wellness. "This service is here for you."
An outside agency will run NFL Life Line, a free consultation service to inform players and family members about the signs of crisis and symptoms of common mental health problems, as well as where to get help. Experts in suicide prevention and substance abuse are among those involved.