The Australian Drug Foundation's Good Sports program is launching an exciting mental health promotion project in Geelong, funded by beyondblue.

What: Good Sports/beyondblue project launch (refreshments provided)
When: Wednesday 15 August, 6:00-7:30pm
Where: Skilled Stadium, 370 Moorabool St, Geelong

With mental health becoming increasingly recognised as an important social and political issue, the ADF's Good Sports program is launching a project to support sporting clubs in the Geelong region work on mental health issues. This will complement Good Sports responsible alcohol management strategies.

"Sporting clubs are much more than just the teams that compete each week", says Brooke Connolly, Good Sports co-ordinator at Geelong-based Leisure Networks. "They provide a social hub for people to gather for friendships, good times, and support."

We are all aware of the benefits of sports clubs to our physical health, but the impact of sports clubs on our mental health is starting to get more attention.

"It may sound crazy, but the best mental health service in many communities is the local sports club." Says ADF's Dr Sarah Russell. "To have somewhere to go, someone who expects you to turn up on time, and someone to share your troubles with, is invaluable. They provide a sense of belonging, friendships, self-esteem and fun. This is what mental health is all about".

Leisure Networks, ADF and associated clubs will launch the project at Skilled Stadium on Wednesday night.

Two local clubs have signed up to participate in the pilot project - the Geelong Lawn Tennis Club and Drumcondra Bowling Club, managed by Geelong's Leisure Networks. Leisure Networks hopes that more clubs will see the benefits of good mental health to their members and sign up to the program in the future.

Some of the interventions that will be trialed in the pilot program include mental health first aid training, stress management workshops, community engagement projects, club development workshops, and information sessions about depression and anxiety.

Results from this pilot may assist in further mental health interventions within sporting clubs.

For further information on the project, please contact Brooke Connolly at Leisure Networks: brookeleisurenetworks.

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