Mental health is one of the biggest issues in the AFL, with affected players including Collingwood stars Dayne Beams and Adam Treloar, Saint-turned Cat Jack Steven, Western Bulldog Lin Jong and recently retired former teammate Tom Boyd.
In August, to address the snowballing problem in the broader football industry, the AFL appointed clinical psychologist Dr Kate Hall as the League’s head of mental health and wellbeing, and Dr Ranjit Menon as its chief psychiatrist.
In announcing the partnership on Thursday 21/11/2019, AFL chief Gillon McLachlan said the mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved in the game was “a growing focus” for the League.
“This isn’t just essential for our game, it’s essential to enhance the wellbeing of the wider community.”
Dr Hall described the alliance with Lifeline as “an important partnership for the AFL”.
“Our football communities are impacted by mental health and suicide, and the AFL is part of this critical societal issue. Responding to mental health issues and doing more to prevent the onset of mental health issues in young Australians is everyone’s responsibility,” Dr Hall said.
“Through our support of Lifeline, we want to reduce the stigma of mental health issues and promote mental health and wellbeing for football communities. “The AFL, together with the AFLPA (players’ association), has a responsibility to transform the management of mental health and wellbeing across the whole industry, and to move towards best practice in mental health prevention and early intervention.”
Lifeline Australia’s CEO Colin Seery praised the AFL’s holistic approach to the issue as “a positive step in the right direction”.
AFL CEO GILLON MCLACHLAN SAYS THE NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH
LIFELINE IS BIGGER THAN THE GAME.
(IMAGE: AFL PHOTOS)