Beyond Blue is using this year’s AFL and NRL Beyond Blue Cups to encourage people to think about the small things they can do to support their mental health.
Football players often make an extra effort to deliver the “one-percenters”, those small acts not usually counted in the match statistics, but which can add up to influence a game’s outcome.
Similarly, “one-percenters” in life can make a big difference to a person’s mental health and wellbeing.
This year, the AFL and NRL Beyond Blue Cups aim to encourage people to think about their mental health “one-percenters”.
These might include spending time with friends, staying active, getting enough sleep, and knowing the signs and symptoms of mental health issues.
The NRL Beyond Blue Cup kicks off today between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers in Sydney.
On Saturday, the Hawthorn Hawks will do battle with the West Coast Eagles for the AFL Beyond Blue Cup. Beyond Blue Chair Julia Gillard, AC, will be at the match to present the Cup to the winning team.
“Beyond Blue has long recognised the power of sport to help change community attitudes,” Ms Gillard said.
“Like those one-percenters in football, simply talking about mental health can make a difference. Making mental health a part of everyday conversations helps eliminate stigma and encourages support-seeking,
“Beyond Blue is delighted that our community partnerships with the Hawks and Wests Tigers helps us highlight the importance of talking openly about mental health.”
More than three million people in Australia experience depression and anxiety but only 46 per cent of those people access the help they need.
Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said: “The match provides a terrific platform for people to talk openly with their teammates, coaches, friends or family members about their mental health and how they keep well,
“During the week, some of our players have been opening up and sharing their mental health one-percenters on social media. I encourage our fans to do the same,” Mr Reeves said.
Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said the club was serious about supporting the mental health of its players and staff.
“At Wests Tigers, we look after the mental and physical health of our players equally because one is just as important as the other,” Mr Pascoe said.
“We’re excited to be working with Beyond Blue again and continuing the conversation about how talking about mental health reduces stigma around anxiety and depression.”
Mental health professionals are available 24/7 at the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636. Web chat is also available 3pm until midnight AEST at beyondblue.org.au/getsupport