Support is available. Reach out.
Being successful on and off the field sometimes requires a little support. Factors such as financial or legal issues, health problems, relationship stresses, and career decisions can make life seem hard. No matter what life challenges you may be facing, there are many resources available to help you and your family thrive—physically, professionally, and emotionally. Whether through your community or the NFL, support is available, and it can make a difference.
Resources for Members of the NFL Family and the Public
Anyone can get support through these national, public resources. You can even connect with resources right in your own community.
Immediate Crisis Support
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a free, confidential hotline for anyone who is thinking about suicide or needs emotional support, 24/7/365. The Lifeline is a SAMHSA-funded national network of more than 155 crisis centers across the country. It is administered by Link2Health Solutions, which also operates the NFL Life Line and provides services to the Veterans Crisis Line. By dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the call is routed to the nearest crisis center where a call specialist will provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals day and night.
- Veterans Crisis Line: a confidential hotline, online chat, and text messaging service that connects military Veterans, active military personnel, and their family members with trained U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online or send a text message to 838255 to get immediate, confidential support 24/7.
Mental Health Resources
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): a government agency dedicated to reducing substance abuse and addressing mental health issues. Use the SAMHSA treatment locator to find a provider near you.
- Network of Care: a web site to help people find mental health or substance abuse services in their area.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: an organization created to build better lives for the millions of Americans who live with mental health issues. Use the NAMI Affiliate locator to connect with resources near you.
- National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH): a government agency focused on improving understanding and treatment of mental health issues. Use NIMH resources to find support for mental illnesses in your community.
- Psychology Today Therapist Locator: a free service to help people find a licensed therapist in their area.
Resources for Current Players
- NFL Player Engagement: provides current players with personal and professional development resources, while supporting and educating players' families to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by their NFL experience. Visit Life, Player Engagement's page for current NFL players, for more information.
- NFL Total Wellness: a comprehensive resource that helps NFL Family members succeed in all areas of life. Topics include healthy relationships, financial responsibility, and a smooth transition from the NFL to a new career or calling. By taking advantage of the NFL Total Wellness resources, current players can ensure that they stay healthy, on and off the field.
- NFL Player Assistance and Counseling Service: Players and their family members can call (800) 635-4625 to get access to the NFL Player Assistance and Counseling Service. Eligible current and former players can receive up to eight free counseling sessions and referrals for child care and elder care resources, financial and legal assistance, and other support.
- NFL Continuing Education Program (CEP): helps current NFL players finish their undergraduate, graduate, or professional degrees. The program works with schools to allow players to conveniently study in their club city and become better prepared for life after football.
Resources for Former Players
The NFL is committed to the well-being of its players, including those who are no longer playing in the league, and offers numerous resources for eligible vested players:
- Health Services: The Former Player Life Improvement Plan provides several programs and benefits for eligible retired players. Benefits include joint replacement support, Medicare supplements, neurological care, spine treatment, assisted living facilities, a prescription drug card, and more. Other services include cardiovascular and prostate screenings, long-term care insurance, and more.
- NFL Player Engagement: offers resources to support former players as they transition to a life after football. The services provided by NFL Player Engagement can guide a vested player through his "next steps" and foster both personal and professional growth. Visit Next, Player Engagement's page for former NFL players, for more information.
- NFL Total Wellness: a valuable set of services and resources to help former players and their families stay healthy physically, emotionally, and financially. With information on chronic diseases, maintaining fulfilling relationships, and tips for managing your health, NFL Total Wellness can keep former players living well long after they've left the game.
- NFL Player Assistance and Counseling Service: provides vested NFL players with support and assistance across all parts of life, including child care, legal and financial assistance, and confidential counseling services (players and their household members are afforded up to eight face-to-face sessions with a counselor at no cost). Players and their family members can call (800) 635-4625 to get access to the NFL Player Assistance and Counseling Service.
- Pensions and Disabilities: The NFL provides financial benefits to eligible players based on medical or mental health conditions. Monthly pension benefits are also available to eligible players who reach retirement age. For more information call (800) 638-3186.
- NFL Players Association: offers financial guidance, legal support, and health and wellness programs to current and former players and the NFL community.
- NFL Player Care Foundation: provides charitable grants to qualified former players experiencing financial hardship. The PCF also supports the cardiovascular and prostate screenings.
- Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Fund: provides former professional and amateur football players with financial assistance in times of crisis. The fund was created by the Professional Athletes Foundation, which oversees all of its funding.
- Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund: a charity founded by former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka. The foundation provides medical and financial assistance to retired players, and its services include medical evaluations, housing assistance, and coordination of food services.
Learn more about programs and benefits for players.