Wellbeing partnership established following men’s mental health awareness project in local footy clubs

A suicide prevention project that connected with men through sporting clubs in the Great South Coast
has resulted in an ongoing partnership between leading mental health organisation Outside The Locker
Room and AFL Western District. Led by Outside The Locker Room in 2021, the Men’s Health and Wellbeing project was delivered through sporting clubs and sought to establish a foundation for improving access to mental health support services in the region.
At a national level, the number of men who die by suicide in Australia each year is nearly double the
national road toll. People in rural communities are twice as likely to die by suicide when compared with
Australia overall.

The Mens Health and Wellbeing project consulted with local communities to gain valuable insights into
the risks and vulnerabilities that currently exist in the region, as well as raise awareness of how to
recognise and respond to men who are at risk of suicide.

With Western Victoria being a priority population, the Great South Coast Suicide Prevention Place
Based Trial (GSCSPPBT) was developed in 2020 – a joint commitment between the Western Victoria
PHN and the Australian Government to recognise the benefits of collaborative approaches to suicide
prevention. Headed by a local leadership committee, the GSCSPPBT comprised 12 community-based
programs aiming to reduce the rates of suicide, reduce suicide attempts, build resilience and wellbeing
and improve systems to prevent suicide in an ongoing way.

As part of the GSCSPPBT, the Men’s Health and Wellbeing project saw Outside The Locker Room
facilitate its welfare and education suicide prevention program to 339 participants at AFL Western
District Clubs. Following the program, more than 45% of the participants went on to register on Outside
The Locker Room’s mental health support app.

Outside The Locker Room Chief Executive Officer Todd Morgan (pictured) said “Working with the
communities of the Great South Coast was an amazing experience. To hear their stories and
understand their passion for mental health awareness and support in their region was truly inspiring.
There is a deep connection between the communities who want only to provide positive wellbeing frameworks for their members. We appreciate the support provided by WVPHN and AFL Western
District, and are excited to continue working with AFL Western District into the future.”
Outside The Locker Room has subsequently been appointed the official Wellbeing Partner for the AFL
Western District 2022 season, continuing to raise awareness of mental health access to this audience.

Support Services
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Head to Health: 1800 595 212
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
Suicide Callback Service: 1300 659 467
MensLine: 1300 789 978 or mensline.org.au
QLife: 1800 184 527 (support for LGBTI community.)
Emergency Services: 000 (triple zero)
SANE Helpline: 1800 187 263 (talk to a mental health professional weekdays, 10am-10pm)

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