Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced a partnership with Black Dog Institute to provide mental health education and support to the grassroots football community and FFA’s employees, national team players and directors.
The deal will see the FFA utilise Black Dog’s range of mental health resources across its digital properties and large football network, as the entire world works to deal with social isolation through the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic.
FFA chief executive, James Johnson, said he was excited to help support the federal government in meeting the country’s mental health challenges, after Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, revealed there have been more than one million telehealth calls relating to mental health since mid-March.
“This new partnership will see FFA using its public platforms to deliver the world-class resources produced by Black Dog for the benefit of the entire football community,” Johnson said.
“The health and wellbeing of football’s two million participants is of paramount importance to FFA.
“This partnership with Black Dog will allow us to provide them with the right tools, help and advice to support their mental health during these difficult times.
“With grassroots football suspended until at least 31 May, this mental health initiative dovetails perfectly with our Skills Hub and #PlayAtHomeChallenge programs, which play an important role in keeping our participants physically fit and healthy while they stay at home,” he said.
Black Dog Institute director, Helen Christensen, said she is exciting to expand awareness around mental health with the help of FFA.
“We’re really excited to be partnering with Football Federation Australia to expand awareness around mental health issues,” Christensen said.
“Our partnership will no doubt help build positive mental health skills and start important conversations from those who need to reach out for help.
“We are please the Federation has prioritised the Black Dog Institute and wishes to support the continuation of our research and the delivery of evidence-based programs throughout the community,” she said.
FFA head of medical, Dr Mark Jones, added this partnership comes at an important time, with the suspension of all football from grassroots to professional.
“With social isolation and social distancing currently being practiced across the country due to the Coronavirus, FFA takes its responsibility to care for the mental health of the football community very seriously,” Dr Jones said.
“This partnership will provide education and excellent mental health resources for those who need them, and we encourage everyone to look after themselves and seek out the material which will be available across our FFA channels,” he said.