Football West is engaging football clubs in the discussion of mental health and well-being by aligning with SportWest’s True Sport program.
The program offers sporting clubs and associations valuable resources to help tackle mental health problems amongst individuals in sport and build openness within sporting communities.
A crucial part of the resource offering is a critical incident eToolkit and response guide, that assists clubs in developing a plan for – and response to – an incident that could impact the mental health and well-being of the community.
Further resources include a directory of mental health organisations, factsheets, and posters, all of which are vital to tackling mental health issues safely and effectively.
True Sport has been popular with many sporting codes, which according to SportWest’s vision statement, ‘provides a cohesive, all-sport approach to align values, culture and practices of sport delivery across WA and enrich the sport experience for all participants.’
In addition to its mental health and well-being resources, True Sport provides resources for child safeguarding and side-line behaviour, with both recognised as key challenges for grassroots sport, and areas where sporting experiences can be improved and maximised.
Football clubs are often viewed as important spaces for individuals to let off steam and facilitate positive social interaction. However, many continue to struggle with mental health issues, and despite their participation in football, these issues often go unnoticed.
Football West is creating important awareness of this, in an effort to build support networks for individuals who may be struggling with mental health issues.
Late last year, it announced its own program, Kick off the Conversation, which will educate football clubs about mental health and well-being through engagement practices, resources, and the establishment of well-being champions, who will act as ports of call for players of individual clubs.
Football West believes the Kick Off the Conversation program will empower football clubs to make a recognised difference in the lives of individuals struggling with mental health issues.
Participating clubs that enter the program will be eligible for a share of $15,000 in cash prizes; a valuable incentive for any local football club.
With football expanding at extraordinary lengths, it is vital that it continues to develop in areas off the field, ensuring that the game grows in an organic, inclusive, and responsible manner.
For information on how to get involved in the Kick Off the Conversation program, you can visit the link here: