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18th March 2021 Mental Health

Improving mental health and wellbeing through sport

Three silhouette images of people playing football, one is kicking the ball, and the other two are marking the ball

Promoting education and awareness around mental health and wellbeing in the community

The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group is excited to announce a $65,000 grant to Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation to support its innovative Sport in Mental Health Charter to promote education and awareness around mental health and wellbeing in the sporting community.

The Charter, supported in conjunction with Sport SA, is an Australian-first and will be rolled out across South Australia’s sporting bodies to gain insights into the state of mental health amongst their members and tailor programs to increase mental health literacy and support.

Paul Flynn, CEO of THRF Group, said the organisation was proud to be teaming up with Breakthrough to evaluate the Charter for this vital area of healthcare.

“Sadly, we all know someone who is dealing with the impacts of mental health and our Group has a strong interest in supporting research and improved care in this area,” Paul said.

“Sporting clubs play a pivotal role in the community of bringing people together and offer great potential in promoting a positive mental health message for young people.

“We are pleased to see the rollout of this project across South Australian sporting bodies to help encourage mental health conversations, promote positive mental health and wellbeing, increase education and ultimately reduce suicide rates amongst young people.”

The first workshop to deliver the Charter to South Australian sporting bodies has been held this month, with more than 40 people in attendance representing all codes including AFL, SANFL, Adelaide Footy League, State netball leagues, baseball and more. The session was facilitated by Crows General Manager of Strategy Nick McCardle and EY Partner, Strategy and Transactions Ben Bishop.

Breakthrough Executive Director John Mannion said he was grateful for the support from THRF Group.

Man standing in front of clear windows with hands in pocket, smiling at camera

Breakthrough Executive Director John Mannion.

“The outcomes from the project will feed directly into other work that is being undertaken by Breakthrough to tackle mental health and wellbeing in the community,” John said.

“Sporting clubs are trusted voices in their communities and are an ideal vehicle to drive the message about mental health awareness and create awareness about the need for research to help eliminate mental illness.

“Sports clubs and codes have access to a lot of different information but it’s important to have a consistent approach across the board that is based in evidence so we can ensure we are providing the best tools and resources to all clubs across the state.”

The funding will go towards the research component of the Charter with Professor Murray Drummond as Chief Investigator.