NFL ratings dropped this season, but injuries remained as prevalent as ever. A broken rib here, a torn ACL there, it all seems like part of the job title for professional athletes. Total wellness isn't likely the first thing you associate with the NFL. 

Part of that is true. When you play such an aggressive sport, you understand the physical risks. That being said, it doesn't mean you should have to deal with the repercussions and not fight back. 

Make a movie to get the public's attention

Discussion of CTE and concussions has come to light in recent years, including the movie "Concussion." It was the story of a real doctor, Dr. Bennet Omalu, treating real football players. Some of these players died due to the mental effects of playing football.   

While it was released in 2015, the events depicted in the film occurred between 2002 and 2006. The film shows Dr. Omalu and his team trying to partner with the NFL to protect the players.

There has been some skepticism of the accuracy of the film, but the NFL did begin to formulate a way to protect present and future players. 

In 2012, the NFL created a "Total Wellness" program, highlighting the idea that mental health is just as important as physical health. Now, things are really picking up speed, according to the American Psychological Association.

Tough talks 

This preventative method targets players from day one. Discussing mental health as a rookie is meant to get everyone comfortable with it.

Whether you're an NFL player or a teenage girl, mental health is a tough conversation. The more we talk about it, the easier it will be to detect signs of problems later on. 

"Total Wellness" doesn't stop at current players. An important aspect is the transition of professional players into the real world. The website homepage outlines four types of strength; physical, personal, emotional, and financial. 

Physical strength

This page outlines tips for healthy eating. This section of the website is honestly lacking, but perhaps it's because the focus is to emphasize the importance of mental health.

Personal strength

Personal strength highlights the importance of total wellness and recognizing that mental health is an aspect of general wellness. 

"It's more than staying out of trouble—it's about staying focused on what really matters," according to the website. 

Emotional strength

The top of the page says, "It's more than how you handle the stress—it's about being man enough to ask for help." The most notable aspect of the program is the NFL Life Line, an anonymous support hotline for anyone to call who has ever been involved in the NFL.

Financial strength

This section explains credit score. Many professional athletes have problems maintaining the lifestyle they could once afford while playing. 

ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary "Broke," interviewed many professional athletes who lost it all after retirement. The explanation of credit score could benefit an ex-NFL player in need of financial guidance. 

So props to you, NFL for actually taking some interest in mental health. They still have strides to make, but hopefully players can keep playing the game that we all love to watch.