LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Football Team today announced Dr. Barbara Roberts, a highly-regarded psychologist, as the team's first full-time Director of Wellness and Clinical Services, one-of-seven in the NFL. Dr. Roberts is only the fourth full-time clinician with a Ph.D. in psychology currently working for an NFL franchise.
Dr. Roberts is a licensed clinical psychologist and brings an extensive history of experience with professional athletes and looks forward to this opportunity to enhance the NFL Total Wellness mission.
"I look forward to this opportunity to enhance the NFL Total Wellness mission," Dr. Roberts said. "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."
"Mental health is one of the most important factors in making sure our players are prepared for the challenges of life in the NFL," said Head Coach Ron Rivera. "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."
Dr. Roberts will incorporate a proactive approach to handling mental health and will focus on the development of a foundation for mental wellness and its impact on overall health and performance. She will build a system based on mental health activities that will focus on specific coping mechanisms as well as different mental behaviors that can compromise those mechanisms.
Dr. Roberts' system will include daily mental wellness work and will allow players to proactively work on their mental wellbeing.
"We conducted an extensive search for our director of wellness and clinical services role, and Dr. Roberts' ability to communicate with the players along with her extensive work in professional sports made this a perfect fit," said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anthony Casolaro. "We appreciate Dan and Tanya Snyder for giving us the resources to ensure that we have one of the best medical teams in the NFL."
"I enjoyed going through the interview process for this invaluable role in our medical department," said Head Athletic Trainer and Director of Sports Medicine Ryan Vermillion. "Coach Rivera, Dr. Casolaro, Malcolm Blacken (Senior Director of Player Development) and I all agreed that Dr. Roberts fits perfectly into the vision we had for this role. It is exciting to work for an organization that puts an emphasis on having a proactive approach to mental health."
Dr. Roberts is a former Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center and remains a member of the Adjunct Faculty. She also served in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as a Senior Policy Analyst and Coordinator for Health Policy.
She has B.A. and M.A. degrees in Psychology from Fisk University. She earned her Ph.D. from The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.