With approximately 3000 people dying by suicide every year, Hawthorn is a loyal advocate for organisations that bring awareness to mental health issues in Australia. Hawthorn’s vision is that every Australian will be aware of the necessary tools to tackle anxiety and depression, so they can help themselves and others in the road to recovery.
Hawthorn Football Club has extended its commitment to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health with the announcement of Cyril Rioli and Taylor Duryea as the club’s Mental Health Program ambassadors.
Rioli and Duryea have been announced as ambassadors ahead of the annual beyondblue cup which will take place against the Sydney Swans in Round 19 at the MCG.
Both Rioli and Duryea are passionate about the need to reduce stigma surrounding mental health conditions and hoped they could use their position as AFL players to raise awareness in this area.
“Anxiety and depression are just like physical injuries – they can affect anyone and most importantly, they’re treatable with the right kind of support,” Duryea said.
“We’re hoping that through the mental health programs the club provides and supports, and the awareness we raise through the beyondblue cup each year we are able to reduce some of the stigma surrounding mental health.”
Rioli said he hoped to bring awareness to the support services available and encourage those affected by mental health issues to seek help, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.
“Growing up on the Tiwi Islands I’ve seen first-hand the impact mental health has on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, so I wanted to do my bit to get people talking about mental health and encourage those affected to seek help,” Rioli said.
“People need to be aware that there are services out there, such as beyondblue, that will help you find the right kind of support.”
beyondblue and Hawthorn Football Club have been working together since 2006 with the aim to create an Australian community that understands anxiety and depression, and empowers every person, at any life stage, to seek help for mental health conditions.
Right now, 1 in 6 Aussies are experiencing depression or anxiety, or both. Hawthorn Football Club and beyondblue have been working alongside one another for over a decade, creating opportunities for discussions within the community to raise awareness and also reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Each year Hawthorn hosts the annual beyondblue Cup at a selected match. beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC said the annual beyondblue Cup is an ideal opportunity to remind AFL footy fans how important it is to look after their own wellbeing and that of their mates.
“The beyondblue Cup is a great way to raise awareness of depression and anxiety and of beyondblue’s work within the AFL community,” he said.
“One of the great things about football is how players look out for their teammates on the field. I hope this comradery reminds footy fans about the importance of looking out for their mates, not just physically, but mentally, and reaching out if they seem to be struggling.”
If you have a mate that you think needs support, gets some tips on how to reach out at beyondblue.org.au, or speak to a trained mental health professional through the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or via an online chat (3PM-midnight).
To find out more about beyondblue’s programs, please visit beyondblue.org.au
Statistics show 1 in 7 primary school children have a mental illness and 1 in 4 primary school children are overweight or obese. With these statistics in mind, Looking After ME aims to improve the physical and mental health of primary school children, helps them to develop an appreciation for themselves and helps students develop an understanding of what they need to help their bodies to function properly.
In Victoria, the program is delivered by Deakin University students in the classroom, Looking After ME is a 3-week Primary School program tailored to Grades 3 and 4 students which aims to address some important lifestyle challenges in the community. This program is free for all schools.
Looking After ME draws on expert knowledge from Deakin University students and beyondblue experts in the nutrition and mental health field, allowing Hawthorn to develop a program containing relevant and suitable information and activities for students aged 8-10 years old.
Looking After ME’s messaging is around good health and nutrition, wellness habits, positive thoughts and mental health, addressing areas of the Victorian Curriculum, Year 3 & 4 Personal, Social and Community Health and Movement and Physical Activity.
Love Me Love You is a youth focused, non-profit organisation that aims to improve the mental health and well being outcomes of young Australians. Established by former AFL player Lance Picioane in 2013, Love Me Love You delivers interactive and engaging programs that educate participants on the importance of good mental health. The programs are designed to empower young adults to Get Back to School, Back to Sport, Back to Life!
Hawthorn and Love Me Love You work closely together with a key focus on youth resilience. Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for the deaths of more young people than car accidents.
With former Hawks player Lance Picioane as its founder and CEO, Love Me Love You strives to empower young adults to help overcome the stigma surrounding mental health and other life hardships.
Love Me Love You take part in the club’s Secondary Schools Program where Picioane and Hawthorn players provide resilience training to local secondary schools.
For more information on Love Me Love You please visit the organisation's website at www.lovemeloveyou.org.au.