Morton Kicking Goals For Mental Health

Morton Kicking Goals For Mental Health

Western Australia Minister for Mental Health Helen Morton

Country Footy Kicks Goals For Men’s Mental Health And Suicide Prevention

Victor P Taffa

Country football players from Broome to Beverley have committed to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide on and off the field by signing up to One Life WA’s State Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Each month the West Australian Country Football League will host a men’s mental health forum in a country town, highlighting the need for men to have their mental health screened.

Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said football and mental health shared similar philosophies of communication, teamwork and resilience, making it the perfect arena to talk about men’s mental health.

“Communication, looking out for your mates and the attitude that if you get knocked down, get back up again are all part of being a strong football player and responsible about your own mental health.” Mrs. Morton said.

Former Fremantle Dockers team mates and mental health advocates Paul Haselby and Heath Black will also attend a ‘Game of the Month’ to encourage men to talk about their mental health, with Mr Black supporting the first match in Mukinbudin on July 9.

With 25 leagues, including 28 junior competitions across 160 clubs, the plan will reach 41,000 players, 875 coaches and 1,100 umpires.

It will further reach the 105 clubs in rural and remote areas, 65 of which have a majority of Aboriginal players.

“Reducing the feeling of isolation is part of the planned reach to WA’s expansive outback.” the Minister said.

The State Suicide Prevention Strategy will focus on developing 50 Community Action Plans (CAPs) and 50 organisations in the State running suicide prevention strategies throughout their workforce.

To date, 24 communities are involved in CAPs across WA, with four already working to prevent suicide in their community. Another 16 are being developed through the One Life team.

Photo caption: Mental Health Minister Helen Morton and former Dockers footballer Paul Haselby are kicking goals to break down the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and suicide in every country football team in Western Australia.