EAST Point Football Netball Club is taking a proactive approach to its players’ mental health and well-being.
A growing concern of anxiety attacks, particularly among younger players, spurred the club to take action. East Point, partnering with youth mental health foundation HeadSpace Ballarat, is tailoring a drug, alcohol and mental health awareness session to best meet needs of its players, coaches and members.
East Point president Neil Park said the club viewed its position seriously, as a community educator and carer. The club had to take action.
“This is something that’s been on the minds of a few of us for awhile...it's where we want to go as a group,” Mr Park said. “We’ve seen a couple of kids ‘fall over’, as I call it, with anxiety or panic attacks. We virtually had never seen anything like it before or how to handle it.”
Mr Park said the initiative seemed like a bit of a “no-brainer”, with the football club able to work in information, like drug and alcohol awareness, with what was taught at school. The session is open to the entire playing list from under-16.5s to seniors in football, netball and youth girls football.
While the club had looked at established AFL Victoria education programs, Mr Park said the club wanted a session more suited to a younger group.
Mr Park said HeadSpace Ballarat’s active work and knowledge in this city’s issues for young people, created a better fit and offer an ongoing support link for players. The session will be the first of its kind in the Ballarat Football Netball League, which will keep a keen eye on how the program unfolds.
East Point is keeping the free session open to the community. Mr Park said East Point’s new ‘one club’ approach, uniting its senior and junior arms, represented a large portion of Ballarat’s eastern suburbs. Junior arms, formerly East Ballarat and Golden Point, have adopted East Point branding while retaining identities as Bulldogs (football and netball) and Dragons (female football).
The session will be in East Point social rooms at Eastern Oval on Friday from 6.30pm.
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