Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation is pleased to announce a new partnership with the SANFL to tackle mental health head on.

The strategic partnership will centre around the need for research breakthroughs to better understand what causes mental illness, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening.

Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director John Mannion said he was thrilled to team with the SANFL.

“Most of us are familiar with the statistics that right now, one in five Australians has a mental health issue, and more people between 15-44 years are dying from suicide than any other cause… I think we all agree this is unacceptable and we need to do something to change this,” John said.

“Mental illness is becoming the biggest health challenge of our lifetime and we need new research and new approaches to beat it.

“Football clubs are trusted voices in their communities and we’re grateful for the SANFL’s passion to join with us in supporting research into mental health which will finally answer many of the unknowns.”

SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson said football clubs and their communities were an ideal vehicle to drive the message about mental health awareness and create awareness about the need for research to help eliminate mental illness.

“Football isn’t just about playing footy, it provides much broader positive social benefits for people by improving mental health and offering support,” he said.

“We know that footy clubs are really positive spaces for delivering that social support, so we see significant benefits in aligning to the Breakthrough Foundation to help create a community free from mental illness.”

SANFL and Breakthrough Foundation are also exploring a round in season 2019 across Community Football Leagues dedicated to mental health awareness.

Click here to download the media release document.

Pictured top of page: Brett Gillett, SANFL Corporate Partnerships Manager and John Mannion, Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation Executive Director