This weekend, August 10, the Port Augusta Netball Association supported the inaugural Mental Health Awareness round in partnership with the Port Augusta Suicide Prevention Network SILPAG.
Every player was provided a green hair ribbon to wear on the day and a green match ball for every game. (green is the Mental Health Awareness colour). Seeing the courts awash with green and hearing all the positive conversations about mental health was fantastic.
Many people came up to the marquee and took resources that were available, some came to seek help and education for young people they were concerned about and others wanting to know what services are available.
Netballers often talk about and look after their physical health, but like many others in our community are not so comfortable when it comes to mental ill health. We know stigma can be a barrier to reaching out for help and SILPAG wants to reduce the stigma associated with talking about or looking after our mental health.
The Port Augusta Netball Association showed leadership in working together with SILPAG to reduce the impact of mental ill health and suicide through education and conversation.
We know stigma can be a barrier to reaching out for help to support our mental health and SILPAG wants to reduce the stigma associated with talking about or looking after our mental health.
Mental health is a positive concept that is sometimes misunderstood and used to refer to mental ill-health. However, mental health is a desirable quality in its own right.
It is about wellness rather than illness and relates to feeling resilient, enjoying life and being able to connect with others.
Mental health is what we strive for and is more than the absence of illness, mental health is about wellness rather than illness.
In Australia, it's estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental ill health in their lifetime and Mental ill-health touches people of all ages and from all walks of life, that is why education through community conversation is so important.
Over the years, SILPAG have been a driving force for many local suicide prevention activities with the aim of raising awareness of the issue, reducing the stigma associated to mental health and encouraging help seeking behaviours.
This is the first time we have worked with a sporting association and we hope it is the first of many more to come.