Health

HOF Behavioral Health to Partner with Jay Glazer-Led ‘MVP’ Organization for Former Players & Veteran

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Hall of Fame Behavioral Health moved forward Thursday in its quest to improve the mental health and wellness of former NFL players and their families with the announcement it will partner with the trailblazing organization Merging Vets & Players (MVP).

Jay Glazerthe NFL insider for FOX Sports and co-founder of MVP with Nate Boyera former Green Beret and former NFL player, made the announcement with the “NFL on FOX” cast on live television during pregame coverage of the 2021 Hall of Fame Game in Canton.

“It’s truly one of the honors of my life to announce this partnership. To be able to use my own struggles and turn those hardships into an effort that helps these warriors – from former players to former service members – is unbelievable for me,” said Glazer, who also will join the board of Hall of Fame Behavioral Health. “And to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame in this effort is just incredible. We change lives, and together we will make an even bigger impact.”

Merging Vets & Players combines a program of intense physical workouts with equally intense peer-to-peer support sessions to make an incredible impact on the military veterans within their ranks.

The national average for suicides among military veterans has been widely reported at 22 per day. MVP aims to put a substantial dent in that statistic because, as Glazer says, “The only acceptable number is zero.”

MVP operates out of training centers in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Dallas – all areas with large populations of NFL retirees and veterans and their families. In addition, MVP hosts multiple weekly virtual meetings to ensure it can provide a new team and help for the entire country. Expansion into additional markets is being considered.

“Hall of Fame Behavioral Health is really going to help bring in more players,” Glazer said. “When we get players in, they love it. We simply need to get more players in. We know so many need it.”

MVP and Hall of Fame Behavioral Health share a similar mission: to make mental health treatment more accessible, more widespread and less stigmatized.

“There’s still a stigma that it’s not OK to not be OK,” Glazer said. “We’ve got to change that.”

Former athletes and former members of the military share many traits. Many come from similar backgrounds, family structures and income levels. They become part of something big and important, and when that ends, many share the same post-career challenges in transitioning to the next phase of their lives. MVP was designed “to ensure that all of our nation’s warriors can be as productive off the field as they were on it,” the organization notes on its website, VetsAndPlayers.org. “By merging vets and players, we create an environment where these warriors can share each other’s strength and experience.”

Hall of Fame Behavioral Health, an affiliate of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was launched in May. Its service providers address such themes as post-career transition, identity, addiction, anxiety, depression, PTSD, mindfulness, the culture of sports and mental health crises. Its network consists of providers who understand athletes and can customize care to meet their specific needs. Services will complement existing programs and assistance available to players through the National Football League and its affiliated partners.

Hall of Fame Behavioral Health has more than 40 former players and other leaders serving as Ambassadors for their mission, and adding Glazer to its board made sense for all involved, the partners said. The opportunities to collaborate are numerous.

Last week, Hall of Fame Behavioral Health announced partnerships with Array Behavioral Care, the nation’s largest provider of telebehavioral health, and with the Special Forces Foundation, an organization dedicated to assisting members of the Special Forces Regiment and their families during times of crisis and transition. .

“At the core of the partnership between MVP and Hall of Fame Behavioral Health, we are about bringing like-minded people together into a community to support one another,” said Wes Caine, CEO of Hall of Fame Behavioral Health. “Those relationships are intervention. Even warriors can be vulnerable to life’s hardships, and that’s OK.

“You are not alone,” Cain said. “Peer-to-peer systems can propel people to hope and healing. And when you sit in on one of MVP’s sessions, that’s exactly what you see.”

Glazer added: “I am excited to walk this walk together with our ex-players and combat vets. We’ve got to get each other’s backs!”

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