The Washington Football Team has hired well-renowned psychologist Dr. Barbara Roberts as its Director of Wellness and Clinical Services, the franchise announced in a statement on Tuesday.
Dr. Roberts is now the first person in Washington's history to hold such a position and just one of seven across the NFL. Additionally, she is one of just four psychologists who has earned a Ph.D. to be working full time for an NFL franchise.
“I look forward to this opportunity to enhance the NFL Total Wellness mission,” Dr. Roberts said in a statement released by the team. “I will focus on the development of a foundation for mental wellness and its impact on overall health and performance. I am deeply appreciative to Dan and Tanya Snyder and Coach Rivera for this tremendous opportunity to further develop a culture of wellness.”
According to the team, Dr. Roberts will bring a "proactive approach" to handling mental health and create a system of activities that can help Washington's players improve their mental health on a daily basis. The system will focus on specific coping mechanisms and behaviors that can alter overall mental health.
“Mental health is one of the most important factors in making sure our players are prepared for the challenges of life in the NFL,” head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “Dr. Roberts brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be a tremendous resource for our players. Her impressive track record speaks for itself and I am excited for her to join our team.”
Prior to joining Washington, Dr. Roberts served as a clinical associate professor in the department of psychiatry at Georgetown University, where she remains as part of the adjunct staff, according to the team. She had previously served in the White House Office as a policy analyst as part of the National Drug Control Policy.