I’ve been in the AFL for eight years, and I’m glad to see more importance being placed on mental health in the industry. The support from the AFL and the AFL Players Association have been nothing short of awesome.
There’s been a lot more education sessions at footy clubs. At the start of the year, we complete a module about mental wellbeing, and the club also hosts a guest speaker every one or two months.
There’s also a sports psychologist who works at the club, so if we have something that’s troubling us, we can speak to her anytime. Plus, she runs a mindfulness and breathing technique session once or twice a week. In these sessions, we learn different mindfulness techniques, how to hone our focus and stay in the moment.
Lastly, Carlton also has a mentor group program. The team is divided into groups of six to eight players, and they exist to help the players bond a little bit more. If you have any issues or any worries on your mind, you can bring it up with the group and lean on them as another addition to your support network.