CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 09: Detail photo of the Carolina Panthers logo at midfield at Bank of America Stadium during the game against the Dallas Cowboys on September 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 16-8. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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Carolina’s Hiring of a Team Therapist Sets the Bar for NFL

Psychological clinician Tish Guerin is believed to be the only in-house clinician in the league.

Recognizing the toll playing professional football takes on players and coaches is mental as well as physical, the Carolina Panthers have taken the unprecedented step of hiring an in-house psychological clinician this season.

Tish Guerin – who is available to any player or staff member seeking help – is believed to be the only active in-house mental therapist in the NFL.

Other teams do give their players and personnel access to mental health services, but none of them offer on-site access like the Panthers do as Guerin has an office at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

According to NFLPA director of wellness Nyaka NiiLampti, the hiring of the 35-year-old practitioner has been a “game-changer” and Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, applauded the team “for being forward-thinking in this area.”

Guerin, whose official title is director of player wellness, said she hopes the other 31 teams in the NFL hire their own player wellness director.

“In terms of thinking about mental wellness and making sure our warriors we see on Sunday are talking to someone, have access to be able to get things off their chest and relieve that stress in a positive way and not a negative way, that’s imperative,” she said. “This is something I would hope to see for all teams.”

It’s possible other franchises might follow Carolina’s lead in the near future as Dr. Sills said the league and the NFLPA are working on a proposal for clubs that would make behavioral and mental health issues a priority.

Read the full story at ESPN