20th May, 2022 — Mental health
Mental health champions Myrtleford Alpine Saints FNC
Myrtleford Alpine Saints Football Netball Club has created a Wellbeing Team to support the mental health of their community in regional Victoria. They collaborated with Communities that Care Alpine Local Drug Action Team on the project.
The team is made up of club leaders, health professionals and other local services. The aim is to break down the stigma around talking about mental health. They want the club's players and supporters to know they are not alone.
A community coming together
The idea began a couple of years ago when the Myrtleford Alpine Saints Football Netball Club invested in a mental health session called Out of the Locker.
The club identified they wanted to become more than just a place to place and train. They wanted to be a club who nurtures – players, coaches, supporters, volunteers and community.
The club approached Alpine Health to support their endeavours to develop the wellbeing team. Alpine Health is the lead organisation on the Local Drug Action Team.
Together, they worked on a plan to establish the Alpine Saints Myrtleford Football and Netball Club Wellbeing Team.
There are nine members in the team, who range from football co-coaches, the club president, board members, a local GP, a mental health nurse, a netball player, club members and local health services.
All team members have completed Youth Mental Health First Aid training. They’re committed to developing and implementing the wellbeing plan. The Wellbeing Team welcomes more members, but with the expectation they carry out the necessary training.
Ongoing support to members is also provided via self-care strategies and professional supervision.
October marks Mental Health Month, and the Wellbeing Team launched online to begin providing support through Facebook messenger and other channels while lockdown was still a challenge.
They’ll then provide support at game days and other events.
T-shirts will identify team members. Locals will be able to approach for a chat about any concerns or issues they’re having. This could lead to a referral onto other services or resources that may be able to provide further support to the person seeking help.