OTLR is proud to partner with Brisbane Lions and Epic Good Foundation to provide much needed mental health education and welfare support for community clubs and schools in Queensland.
Our founder, ex-AFL player Jake Edwards, started the charity in response to his own mental health challenges upon finishing his AFL career.
I look at what I went through and don’t want it to be for nothing.
More recently, COVID-19 has been a direct hit to our communities, sporting clubs in particular, and looking out for each other and seeking support is more important than ever.
My goal with this program has always been to save lives. I know it has, and I believe it’ll continue to.
We launched our program five years ago, and since then it has been welcomed by over 200 clubs across Australia, with 15 of those in Queensland.
We support clubs and schools to reduce the stigma of mental ill-health, by providing education sessions covering a range of topics, as well as welfare support through our recently updated app and direct access to our welfare team.
Luke Hodge, 4 x AFL Premiership player and program ambassador, understands how hard it can be for men to talk about their feelings. He says that reducing the stigma is essential if we are going to have real conversations.
“I’ve had teammates over the years who’ve had mental health issues and their biggest message is that they wish they’d spoken up earlier.”
Long term vision and generosity are at the core of this initiative, with Cathie Reid and Stuart Giles, founders of Epic Good Foundation, contributing $500,000 towards this project over the next three years.
Having witnessed OTLR’s program when their son Sam took part in an education session, it was clear to Cathie and Stuart the impact it could have.
“We were blown away by it and could see why it was achieving results – after sitting through just one session”, says Stuart.
James Dowling is the Brisbane Lions community manager working with OTLR to oversee the project delivery. He’s excited to utilise the Lions’ name to bring this opportunity to the community.
“Without partners like Cathie and Stuart we wouldn’t be able to provide the long-term commitment we want to. We now have a great opportunity to provide lasting education and support across many schools and clubs in Queensland at a vastly reduced price.”
On average, 8 Australians die every day by suicide. Every week, the amount of lives being lost to suicide could field the two teams, coaches and umpires needed to play an AFL game.
Help reduce stigma at your club. Take the first step and express your interest in the program today.
If you or somebody you know needs support with their mental health, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
In an emergency, always dial 000.