“The mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved in our game is a growing focus for us, and we are proud to partner with Lifeline to encourage Australians, especially young Australians, to stay connected and ask for help if they’re struggling,” McLachlan said.
“Mental health is an issue affecting all workplaces and families,” McLachlan said. “We shouldn’t shy away from it and I encourage anyone who needs support to reach out.
“We are continuing to work as an industry to ensure we have the best processes and mental healthcare in place for our players, coaches and umpires in our elite competition and there is much work to be done.
“Through the leadership of Dr Kate Hall and Dr Ranjit Menon, we are also working on wellbeing initiatives for players and umpires in our pathway programs, administrators across the AFL and AFL clubs, and participants and volunteers at the community level. This isn’t just essential for our game, it’s essential to enhance the wellbeing of the wider community.
Lifeline chief executive Colin Seery said the $300,000 donation and AFL partnership was a “game changer”.
“The AFL’s decision to truly commit to the outcomes of the partnership by encompassing Club, community engagement, education and importantly fundraising across the Lifeline network will make this partnership a game changer,” Seery said.
“With the AFL’s support we will be able to both increase the number of volunteers we can recruit and train each year and extend Lifeline services, including new channels like text, so that we can answer every call for help.”