Ministry of Sport

AIS Launches Mental Health Campaign Alongside Lifeline Broken Hill

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is partnering with Lifeline Broken Hill to enable Australian athletes to spread the message of health and wellbeing in the outback.

‘How’z Ya Mate’ is a local campaign with an emphasis on the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of men in the far western NSW town and surrounds.

Athletes Jenna O’Hea (basketball), Declan Stacey (diving) and Gordan Allan (para-cycling) are spending time visiting schools and sporting events in Broken Hill this weekend as part of the Lifeline Community Custodians program.

Lifeline Broken Hill CEO, Scott Hammond, said the campaign encourages men to check the state of their own wellbeing as well as their mates.

“Lifeline Broken Hill is really grateful to the athletes who are taking the time out of their busy schedule to come to remote areas like this and share their experiences, especially with boys and men.

“There are a lot of young people here that are striving to become elite athletes, and we look to support them in a holistic sense, whatever their chosen pathway or sport,” Hammond said.

“It’s an enormous effort for young people in rural and regional areas to uphold their commitment to sport.

“So it’s great to see that recognised by the AIS/Lifeline Community Custodians, to not only raise awareness around mental health and How’z Ya Mate, but to share their lived experience at an elite level and provide tips on how they manage the pressure they face themselves.”

Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist, Declan Stacey, says he’s aware that depression in men is not uncommon and often goes unrecognized and untreated.

“We live in a culture where men often feel pressure to conform to an unrealistic macho image,” Stacey said.

“Real men are not supposed to be weak, break down, or cry but like anyone, including athletes we are all human and all face challenges.”

Twenty-one Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes from 13 sports have been selected as Lifeline Community Custodians, a program in partnership with AIS Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement, to reduce the stigma of mental health and promote the positive contributions athletes and sport can make to the community.

For more information visit https://www.sportaus.gov.au/ais/custodians

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney