The AFL has announced Lifeline Australia as an official charity partner. In partnership with Lifeline, the AFL is part of the conversation that talks openly about mental health and reduces the stigma associated with mental illness, GWS Giants reports.
AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said that while one in five Australians experience a mental health issue in any given year, the impacts of mental health are felt by everyone in the community.
“The mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved in our game is a growing focus for us, and we are proud to partner with Lifeline to encourage Australians, especially young Australians, to stay connected and ask for help if they’re struggling,” Mr McLachlan said.
“Mental health is an issue affecting all workplaces and families. We shouldn’t shy away from it and I encourage anyone who needs support to reach out.
“We are continuing to work as an industry to ensure we have the best processes and mental healthcare in place for our players, coaches and umpires in our elite competition and there is much work to be done.
“Through the leadership of Dr Kate Hall and Dr Ranjit Menon, we are also working on wellbeing initiatives for players and umpires in our pathway programs, administrators across the AFL and AFL clubs, and participants and volunteers at the community level. This isn’t just essential for our game, it’s essential to enhance the wellbeing of the wider community.
“We look forward to supporting Lifeline in the admirable work they do to support Australians in crisis with fundraising, as we do with our other major charity partners, the Children’s Cancer Foundation and FightMND.”
Lifeline Australia Chief Executive Officer Colin Seery said:
“We are delighted to partner with the AFL. It’s encouraging to see important community organisations such as the AFL elevate mental health by recognising it as an essential aspect in the lives of their athletes and the broader community.
“At Lifeline, we believe it will take a whole of community approach to drive down the rate of suicide in Australia. The AFL’s decision to take a holistic approach to the integration of mental health initiatives and awareness programs is a positive step in the right direction.
AFL announces partnership with Lifeline Australia (GWS Giants)