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Hawks and headspace partner

Hawthorn Football Club has extended its commitment to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, announcing a new partnership with headspace.

The partnership launched this week at several events across the club’s annual community camps in Tasmania and Northern Territory.

The partnership is an extension of Hawthorn’s long-standing partnership with Beyond Blue and aims to increase the number of young people who seek support for their mental health.

headspace provide early intervention mental health services to 12-25-year olds.

headspace workers operate across the country, embedded in high schools and youth centres and can make home visits to families and elders to help their young relatives.

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said the headspace partnership is a fantastic opportunity for the club to reinforce its commitment to improving mental health amongst Australians.

“Hawthorn has an amazing platform to help educate people on understanding mental health. Not only do we want more people to speak more openly, we want them to be aware of the variety of support services available to them,” said Reeves.

headspace is a fantastic organisation that provides young adults with crucial resources to assist them in a transitional phase of their lives. A large number of our male and female players fall into this age-bracket, and through our partnership have the opportunity to become powerful role models for the broader community.

“Hawthorn has an incredibly strong partnership with Beyond Blue, which is heading into its 14th year. We’re looking forward to extending that partnership and working with both Beyond Blue and headspace to continue creating positive change in peoples’ lives.”

Over half of Hawthorn’s playing group is under the age of 25 and a quarter of the club’s 80,000 members aged between 10-24, the club has a significant platform to help address the gender disparity that currently exists in young people seeking support for their mental health.

1 in 7 young men aged between 16-24 experience depression or anxiety each year yet only 13% seek help.

Manager of the Launceston and Devonport headspace centres, Wayne Frost, said the partnership opened up some fantastic opportunities. 

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to work with Hawthorn.  As an organisation they support and develop high performing, strong young men and they understand the importance of positive mental health,” said Frost.

 “In Tasmania many young people go through hard times. We have lower than national average rates of retention in year 11 and 12 schooling, and the highest proportion of people living in disadvantaged areas. Our young people need support.

“Hawthorn have maintained a commitment to our region for a long time now and this partnership reinforces and enrichens that commitment. We’re grateful to work alongside them.

“When a member of our community such as Hawthorn is willing to open up and talk about mental health, it really helps to lift the veil of silence and stigma. Young people will understand its normal and ok to have issues and  that you can take steps to get healthier and happier.”

Players will visit local headspace Centres and high schools during Community Camps in Devonport, Launceston, Hobart and Katherine.

They will participate in activities such as yoga and art therapy to educate students on the importance of practicing mindfulness to reduce stress and improve wellbeing.

For more information on headspace visit headspace.org.au/

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs