Football clubs across the state are being encouraged to support a range of activities during the ‘Think Mental Health' Round.
The WA Football Commission has joined forces with Healthway to improve mental health and wellbeing within clubs, with the project culminating in the Think Mental Health Round on July 23-24.
One of the key activities is the “Talk to a Mate” BBQ which provides an opportunity to connect players and community members to local support networks.
It also provides an outlet to educate players on how to nurture mental health and recognise mental illness.
East Fremantle Captain Matthew Jupp is proud to promote the value of the Think Mental Health message.
“Mental health has become a priority at footy clubs,” Jupp said.
Checking in with teammates who are struggling emotionally because of form, injury or personal issues is critical.”
The Think Mental Health Round initiative expanded this year from the WA Country Football League to include the WAFL competition.
The round aims to strengthen the strong connection between Country Football and the WAFL, while promoting mental health awareness.
Jupp, who grew up in Port Hedland, supports the WAFL and WACFL partnership.
“Playing all my junior footy in the north of the state I know the important role that football clubs play in connecting and enhancing regional communities,” Jupp said.
Research has found that connecting with players, volunteers and spectators has a positive impact on physical and mental health.
Healthway and Lotterywest CEO Ralph Addis declared that Healthway proudly supports the many initiatives by the WA Football Commission and WA Country Football League ahead of the Think Mental Health Round.
“For the first time, both metropolitan and regional leagues across the state will come together for the round, providing a large platform to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health.” Addis said.
The WAFC, WACFL and Healthway would also like to acknowledge volunteers and club representatives for bringing communities together to connect and socialise, in the process raising much-needed awareness to ensure people feel supported.