Northern NSW Football Urges Players, Volunteers, Coaches and Match Officials to seek help with Mental Health
As the Prime Minister announces the development of a National Mental Health Response Plan, Northern NSW Football reminds all its stakeholders to take care of their own mental health and reach out if they need help.
Earlier in the year, prior to COVID-19 impacting our lives, we announced a partnership with mental health advocate #Talk2MeBro at the 2020 Premier League Launch with all Premier League Clubs signing the following Mental Health Wellness Pledge:
Our club is committed to fostering a culture which is inclusive, supportive and respectful. We care deeply about the mental health wellness and overall wellbeing of our players, coaches, volunteers and supporters. We will look out for each other and fall in behind those who need our support.We will consistently address behaviour which contradicts our values and undermines our culture.
Luke Conners of #Talk2Me Bro highlights by not being able to play football, you not only remove the physical aspect of the game, however the camaraderie and well-being of belonging to a team.
“Everyone is facing unprecedented times, having to adapt to significant change to their lives whether it be financially, socially or physically.
“By not having that consistent interaction with your teammates it can really take a strain on you mentally and many of us have not felt this isolation before and don’t understand the first signs of mental deterioration.”
“It’s important for us all to reach out and seek help if we need it and to let our teammates know we are here if they need an ear to listen,” said Conners.
#Talk2MeBro has been working with sporting organisations within Newcastle, Wollongong and across New South Wales, however the virus has forced the organisation to move online.
“Taking away the face-to-face component of the sessions, whilst not ideal, does allow us to reach far-wider geographically allowing us to assist more teams and people further afield,” said Conners.
Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland stated that sport, particularly winter team sports, will play a vital role in social cohesion once life begins to return to normal.
“We’ve seen some clubs and teams undertake some fantastic initiatives to continue to engage and provide support each other during this time, through social media and isolated training sessions.
“But we encourage clubs to take up the offer from #Talk2MeBro and undertake these virtual group education sessions to help take care of each other when off the pitch too,” said Eland.
Advice from #Talk2MeBro
- Learn to recognise the signs of depression in yourself and others;
- Reach out to your friends, family and teammates and simply ask the question ‘how are they going’?
- Open-up to someone you trust. By sharing what’s happening in your world and how you’re dealing with it or challenges you’re facing, also invites them to share their personal struggles with you, gifting an opportunity to you both to connect.
- Don’t hesitate to reach out for help;
- Clubs and coaches take the first initiative and book in for a group session with #Talk2MeBro and open the discussion. Providing the opportunity for teams to reconnect in this particularly tough climate.
#Talk2MeBro was primarily developed to help reduce the number of males who commit suicide through early intervention by creating societal change through reducing the stigma around suicide and encouraging men to talking about.
It does this through group facilitation within schools, work places, sporting groups and teams and does not discriminate and encourages mixed and women’s teams to partake in sessions too.
Northern NSW Football clubs are encouraged to reach out to #Talk2MeBro to book online team sessions by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find more about #talk2mebro or to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Do you need help? Don’t hesitate, contact one of the below confidential services or book in with your GP and ask
for a mental health plan:
Lifeline: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
> Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36 www.beyondblue.org.au
> Suicide Call Back Services: 1300 659 467 www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
> Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelpline.com.au
> Mensline Australia: 1300 78 99 78 www.mensline.org.au
> Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
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