Bulldogs tackle mental health head on

The Gunnedah Bulldogs have shown their commitment to looking after the mental welfare of their mates by undertaking Outside the Locker Room’s ‘Mental Health’ education session.

The session covers critically important topics such as signs and symptoms of someone going through a mental health challenge, ways to start a conversation, and ways to support someone going through that challenge.

3,318 Australians died by suicide in 2019. That’s seven males and two females each day.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for young Australians. One in five Australians will develop a mental illness, and in 75% of these cases the illness will emerge before the age of 25 years.

With sport being so important to the lives of a huge proportion of our population, sessions like the one undertaken by the Gunnedah Bulldogs can have a huge impact on so many people. Sporting clubs have a social reach of 10 people for every one player so the positive impact flows beyond the club and into the local community.

Paul Taylor, Community Football Manager, commended the club for its proactive approach. “We can’t underestimate how many people are facing mental health challenges and just how devastating the impact can be for them, their families, and their friends. The more people throughout our society who can recognise the signs, start a conversation, and direct someone to help the better we’ll be as both footy clubs and communities.

“Many people who are facing mental challenges are vastly experienced in hiding things behind a mask, so we have to be tuned in to the signs and be ready to offer support.”