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UK sports psychologist discusses mental health impact of Damar Hamlin incident

Bills Bengals Football
Posted at 6:56 AM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-04 06:56:20-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As the sports world watched and hoped for the best for Damar Hamlin Monday night, Dr. Marc Cormier was also thinking about other impacts of the incident.

"From a mental health standpoint, I think there's a lot to unpack from last night," Cormeir said.

Cormier is a sports psychologist at the University of Kentucky. He said players learn to deal with difficult situations as they experience them.

"I don't think they're really taught, to be honest. I think almost by being exposed, particularly in a sport like football in which there are so many injuries - every game, there's somebody being helped off the field and things like that - to a point where we almost become a little desensitized to it," he said.

But the cardiac arrest incident Hamlin suffered is on another level.

"We're literally learning how to process something like this because none of us have really ever been exposed to it," Cormier said. "I think that was evident to with the reactions of the broadcasters as well. They were sort of openly processing what they were seeing,"

The sports world is pulling for Damar Hamlin to come through this situation okay. Even if he makes a full recovery, Cormier expects there will be a lot of things for him and the other players on that field last night to work through.

"That's the first thing that pops into my head in thinking about the mental health staff of that particular team and the NFL, I think they're going to have their hands full in terms of helping athletes process and unpack all of that," Cormier said.