MENTAL HEALTH THE GOAL OF NEW SPORTS PROGRAMS

Mental health and wellbeing will be bolstered in drought and bushfire-affected regional NSW communities through the new Mental Health Sports Fund, which will deliver $1.2 million in grants to 24 sports organisations providing tailored mental health programs.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said the grants would allow sporting organisations to help regional communities recover.

“The drought and more recently bushfires have taken their toll on communities, families and individuals across the state,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Sport is crucial in regional towns and often brings communities together in times of crisis. These programs will give individuals tools to start a conversation about how they are coping with the drought and bushfires, which for many has impacted their mental health.”

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Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said sporting clubs are a great way to deliver critical mental health resources.

“Sporting clubs are the heart of our rural communities and these fantastic programs have the potential to save lives by delivering mental health resources in relaxed, informal settings,” Mrs Taylor said.

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said sport plays a critical role in keeping communities healthy, active and connected.

“The NSW Government is funding some excellent mental health programs which aim to build resilience and wellbeing through sports including horse riding, football, hockey, surfing and judo,” Mr Lee said.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance congratulated the Far South Coast Football Association on its grant to deliver Mind Your Game – Mental Health Literacy Project.

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“The Far South Coast Football Association isn’t just delivering football competitions across the region it’s supporting the mental health of its members,” Mr Constance said.

The Mind Your Game – Mental Health Literacy Project will help players aged 12-16 better understand their mental health and provide support to parents and coaches.