R U OK Day and the Amazing Work of Hawthorn Amateur Football Club

On Thursday 10 September we marked R U OK day.

R U OK day is an important day to empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life.

In recognition of this significant day I thought I would share some of the great work being done by Hawthorn Amateur Football Club of which I am proudly a ‘Wings Member.’

Hawthorn ‘Ammos’ are a VAFA club in my electorate and field 4 teams, both Men’s and Women’s. They are an inclusive, welcoming club that pride themselves on important values of Family, Respect, Progressiveness, Resilience & Integrity.

Wins and losses come and go, but what sporting clubs do ‘off-field’ is of far greater consequence to the community in which they are part of.

The Hawks set up the Wings Player Welfare program after they were directly touched by the devastating and far-reaching effects of depression. The Wings mental health fund was created to provide the Club community with the tools and resources to improve their overall mental and physical well-being and removing the financial barrier to receiving treatment. Additionally, the program is strengthened by the active work of its Wings Ambassadors; a cross section of the Club’s community who are trained in mental health first aid and are equipped to know what to look for, how to respond and where to best direct someone looking for help.

We know all too well, that so many people suffer in silence and sometimes it is because they do not know how or where to access support.

I commend the Hawthorn Amateurs for this important work and particularly want to acknowledge Sam Waldron (President), Sarah Delbosc (Vice-President), Sarah Ward (Player Welfare) as well as Wings Ambassadors: Pat Clancey, Matt Tanis, Daniel Grieves and James Ridley who are all passionate advocates of mental health.

For more information on the Wings Program: https://www.hafc.com.au/wings

Also, hear from Pat Clancey on the VAFA Podcast: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=727481

If this post has raised any issues for you, please visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.