Kansas City Royals on-field mental health director makes team history in multiple ways

Melissa Lambert becomes 1st mental-health professional, woman in Royals' dugout
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Posted at 9:29 AM, Mar 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-27 12:17:06-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There's a new face in the Kansas City Royals dugout this season, and she's making history in more ways than one.

Royals Director of Behavioral Science Melissa Lambert will be the first on-field staff member to provide mental health and performance support to Royals players and coaches from the dugout, according to MLB beat writer Anne Rogers.

Lambert also will be the first woman on the Royals' on-field staff in history.

2023 Major League Photo Day
Director of Behavioral Science Melissa Lambert (photo from the Kansas City Royals Major League Photo Day on Thursday February 23, 2023, in Surprise, Arizona)

Her inclusion in the dugout is part of the Royals' effort to improve mental-health resources, help prevent mental illness and support players amid high stressors, according to the article.

Lambert's goal is to build relationships with players so that they know they can have conversations with her when they need it.

As a former employee assistance program and mental-skills coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lambert joined the Royals in 2020 as the assistant director of behavioral science.

She's stepping into the role of director of behavioral science for 2023 — and moving into the dugout.

Lambert earned her master’s of education for clinical mental health counseling from Springfield College in Massachusetts in 2009 after earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eastern Connecticut State.