One in four young people in Australia will experience a mental health issue at some point. With some 10,000 young men playing in the VAFA each week, mental health issues are likely to prevalent at all clubs.

THICK AND THIN is a player led initiative that will primarily focus on:

  1. Creating awareness of men’s mental health within the VAFA, and the normalisation of mental health concerns;

  2. Encouraging team mates to have a conversation if they notice any signs of mental health issues within themselves or others; and

  3. Act as a signpost for those either experiencing a mental illness or those supporting a mate through hard times.

In 2015, the major components of THICK AND THIN included:

  • Consistent engagement and ongoing information provided to VAFA players related to seeking help and supporting teammates;

  • Collaboration with headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation;

  • A THICK AND THIN round to include dedicated awareness raising activities including featured teams playing in dark and light blue socks; and

  • Active Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to promote the initiative.

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