Lions defeating mental health stigma

By Rhys Williams

The Wahgunyah Lions Football Netball Club’s president Brett Skinner is hoping recent events the club held surrounding mental health awareness have helped open the conversation up in sporting clubs.

The Lions held a mental health awareness night last Wednesday which had approximately 90 people in the community attend.

Headspace Albury-Wodonga spoke at the event, where they talked to attendees for 40 minutes about opening a dialogue around mental health within sporting clubs and providing information around what services people can be pointed towards when they vocalise that things aren’t okay.

“It was very encouraging to see such a turnout on Wednesday night, it shows that this is an important issue within the community and people are taking mental health seriously,” Mr Skinner said.

“Headspace hung around for a little while after and a lot of people came up to ask them questions which I thought was a really positive outcome.”

The club doubled up on their awareness week by playing under the banner of Beyond Blue in their match against Yackandandah on Saturday.

Mental health wrists bands were available on the day for a donation and stalls were set up to provide people with information around mental health support services.

In a sign of solidarity, players from both sides wore blue arm bands for the Beyond Blue match and the club managed to raise just under $300 on the day, which well all be donated to the foundation.

Mr Skinner said that the success of these events will see ongoing awareness events happen at the club around things like; domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse and many others.