Members Statement – RUOK Day and Hawthorn AFC

Speaker,

Last Thursday was RUOK day, 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 day I want to acknowledge and share some of the great work being done in the mental health space by the Hawthorn Amateur Football club of which I am proudly a ‘Wings Member.;

The 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 Respect, Progressiveness, Resilience and Integrity.

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.

The program is strengthened by the active work of its wings ambassadors 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 pay tribute to its President, Sam Waldron, Vice-President Sarah Delbosc, Head of Player Welfare Sarah Ward and I thank Pat Clancey and other wings ambassadors for their continued advocacy of mental health.