Steelers get behind mental health initiative

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The Steelers Club (Steelers) has partnered with Mental Health Movement (MHM) and Bendigo Bank to provide vital mental health awareness, education and support tools to Illawarra Rugby League (IRL) clubs.

Since its inception in 1990, Steelers has played an integral role in the encouragement of community sport, in particular rugby league, through the provision of financial support and the contribution of club staff to assist the IRL.

“We recognise we have a role to play in the community to sustain and improve health and wellbeing in the community, including aiding mental health,” said Steelers Club Chairman, Graeme Gulloch.

“With many people in our community affected by mental health issues IRL clubs and players are not immune.”

“The aim of this new initiative is to help our clubs develop and maintain a mentally healthy and supportive cultures.”

Also supported by Bendigo Bank Oak Flats and Shellharbour Community Bank Branches, the program will focus on ages 16 and up, both male and female, including players, coaches, staff and volunteers within clubs.

The Facts

·       Suicide is the leading cause of death of individuals aged 15-44 years old.

·       Currently eight Australians are taking their own life every single day, six of those eight are males.

·       Mental illness is also more common in people aged 16-24.

Many of the Mental Health Movement team members, including former NRL stars Dan Hunt, Ashton Sims and Chris Houston, are members of the local community and grew up playing various community sports. As a result, they know first-hand that sport and community groups play a vital role in community connection.

“Our Mental Health Community Blueprint has been specifically developed to provide vital mental health awareness, education, training workshops, resources to local community groups and sporting teams as well as links to appropriate support networks,” said Dan Hunt, MHM Co-Founding Director and CEO.

“Improving mental health literacy is essential in not only helping individuals better manage their own mental health, but also equipping them to support others.”

“In our line of work, we’ve seen the strength of many communities as they pick up and rally behind each and every one of their valued members and we believe that these communities deserve the support to be able to keep supporting each other in the best way possible.”

“We know that too often community groups and sporting clubs simply do not have the capacity to provide this support to their people, so it is fantastic to be able to partner with an organisation like the IRL to improve the overall mental health outcomes within their community.

The new initiative builds on several activities conducted by Steelers, the IRL and clubs over the last few years, including the annual Bendigo Bank Mental Health Cup, One Door Mental Health and raising funds for charities such as the Black Dog Institute and RUOK?

Next Steps

The MHM team will contact all clubs to discuss the roll-out of the program at your club. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like more information on how your club can get involved please email Chris Bannerman.


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