Mental health training for junior footy


Field of support: Graduates of the youth mental health first aid training with footy players at BlueScope Reserve, Hastings. Picture: supplied

JUNIOR football league executives are being trained to spot youngsters with mental health problems.

The focus on mental health is part of the first aid training being given at every club in the Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League.

Course participants will learn about adolescent development; the signs and symptoms of common and disabling mental health problems in young people; where and how to get help when a young person is developing a mental illness; what sort of help has been shown to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation.

“The hope is to equip each club with the necessary skills that will aid them in better supporting their players’ health and wellbeing, with an emphasis on mental health,” the mayor Cr Bev Colomb said.

“Hopefully, over time this intervention will contribute to a reduction in depressive symptoms among our young people.”

The league’s health and wellbeing officer Bek Mantell said the league was grateful to be involved in this “fantastic initiative”.

“The Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League, along with affiliated clubs, feel football is often at the heart of the community and, therefore, it offers a great avenue to support young people,” she said.

“All our junior clubs across the peninsula have nominated one, if not two, volunteers to become health and wellbeing officers within our football community.

“Officers will be accessible around the clubs and are all dedicated to ensuring our youth feel safe and supported. Training will also be extended to club committee members and coaches in the hope of maximising the benefits of the training.”

First published in the Mornington News – 11 April 2017