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Mental Health and Wellbeing Community Framework

Organised community sport provides opportunities to promote mental health and wellbeing, to increase mental health ‘literacy’ and prevent the onset of mental health challenges.

The potential role that community sport can play in mental health and wellbeing promotion and prevention is exemplified by the emergence of a variety of mental health programs and initiatives which have been developed to be implemented in community sporting settings.

In July 2020, SportWest embarked on a project to develop a Mental Health and Wellbeing Community Framework in partnership with Healthway, the WA Association for Mental Health, the Mental Health Commission, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the WA Local Government Association.

Through extensive consultation with state sporting organisations, community clubs and mental health providers, the Framework has highlighted four key areas where clubs require assistance:

  1. Creating a club culture and environment that is inclusive of all people and promotes mental health and wellbeing of all those involved.
  2. Increasing mental health awareness and literacy, knowing how to respond to people, encouraging help seeking behaviour and developing links with local services and supports.
  3. Increase awareness of and linkages with mental health support services.
  4. Responding to critical mental health incidents/events, mental ill health of a member or a major crisis affecting the club.
 

Framework to help tackle mental health

Following on from the development of the Framework, SportWest will develop an industry response to the key areas to benefit community sport.

Culture change key to survival

Seven years ago, Kalamunda Cricket Club was almost wiped out. The club changed culture and values to include a focus on mental health.

Building mental health and wellbeing literacy

Over the past decade, Psychologist Jodii Maguire has worked with elite sport and community sport clubs to assist them with mental health and wellbeing.  

Lynch’s passion for mental wellbeing

Rachael Lynch is passionate about hockey as well as mental health and wellbeing to increase the awareness of the need to look after people.

WACFL puts mental health front & centre

The WA Country Football League runs two promotional rounds each season to ensure mental health is front and centre throughout regional WA.

Volleyball gets serious about mental health

Volleyball WA has embraced partnerships and technology in an effort to ensure it is looking after the mental health and wellbeing of its members.

Resources

Youth Mental Health Centres

There are 100 Headspace Centres around Australia, in metropolitan and regional areas, who exist to respond to young people’s mental health wellbeing.

R U OK Tool Kit for Coaches

The toolkit includes materials and resources to build a culture of respect, trust, authenticity and a willingness to support those who might be struggling with life.

The Coaches Toolkit includes: A Conversation Guide for coaches; A guide to hosting an R U OK? Round; and Promotional materials.

Beyond Blue
Mental Health Benefits of Playing Team Sport

Orygen National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health

Supporting mental wellbeing in community sport – A toolkit for sporting organisations

A four-part suite of resources designed to help sporting organisations support the mental wellbeing of young people aged 12-24 years.

Acknowledgements

SportWest would like to acknowledge the support of the following organisations for their assistance throughout the development of the Mental Health Framework: the State Sporting Associations Advisory Group, the sporting clubs and mental health service providers interviewed as part of the consultation phase, Healthway, the WA Association for Mental Health, the Mental Health Commission, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the WA Local Government Association..

SportWest Partners

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