Free mental health programs for local sport clubs

Free mental health programs for local sport clubs

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Bouncing Back program coordinator Paul Peacock and Leeming Spartan Cricket Club president Peter Coombs. Photograph — Aaron Van Rongen.

In light of the challenges that COVID-19 has imposed on the community, Bouncing Back is offering free mental health awareness to sporting clubs throughout the state.

The program was developed to help sporting clubs identify and provide support to its members who may be struggling with their mental health.

The program is offered through Richmond Wellbeing and the Mental Health Commission and is split up into four sessions each dedicated to a particular audience including players, coaches and administration, captains and parents of children and young adults.

Program coordinator Paul Peacock said the program aims to start the conversation about mental health and create positive culture change within club environments.

“The Covid-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on the mental health of many Western Australians and as a result some club members may be struggling with a variety of issues including anxiety and depression, financial trauma and loneliness caused by social isolation,” he said.

“These sessions help to equip clubs with the tools they need to address a personal or collective concern, while also helping to create a safer and more open environment for each of its members.”

Leeming Spartan Cricket Club reached out to Bouncing Back following the sudden and unexpected passing of a club member.

Club president Peter Coombs said the committee felt it would be a good opportunity for the broader membership to openly talk about mental wellness.

“We cannot speak highly enough of the Bouncing Back Program,” he said.

“Not only from the perspective of the loss of a teammate but also in managing our own mental wellbeing on an ongoing basis.

“Paul and his team could not have done more to help – from providing the club with a plan to help manage the incident, through to the mental wellness session delivered to club members, supported by tips and advice to keep mental health on the agenda going forward.”

Mr Coombs said the program was short but sharp, delivered in a tone that the group instantly related to.”

Clubs like Roleystone Karragullen Cricket Club recently participated in the program and hope to continue the sessions once the season commences again.

Roleystone Karragullen Cricket Club president Glen Hickinbotham and Bouncing Back program coordinator Paul Peacock.

Club president Glen Hickinbotham said it was great to have Paul visit the club and get its members thinking and talking about their mental health.

“Mental health is certainly not a subject that gets enough air time, especially in a male-dominated sporting club,” he said.

“This program definitely helped put positive mental health at the forefront of many of our members’ minds.”

For more information or to get involved visit the Bouncing Back website at rw.org. au/bouncing-back-program/ or contact Paul Peacock on 0428 767 552