The Geelong Cats are putting a special focus on mental health this month as the world brings awareness to mental health and wellbeing by celebrating World Mental Health Day (WMHD) on October 10.

Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which an individual realises their capabilities, can cope with normal stressors in life, function effectively, and engage in their community in positive and meaningful ways.

The aim of WMHD is to encourage all of us, regardless of age, background, or whether we have experienced mental illness or not, to learn about, understand, and advocate the importance of looking after our and others mental health and wellbeing.

Around 25 per cent of young people and adults in Australia experience a mental health condition. Of those, we find adults are still hesitant to seek help due to stigma, and only 1 in 4 children get the help they need. Therefore, October becomes an important time where the Geelong Cats join in as the Australian community comes together to raise awareness and promote better mental health for all. 

As we head into WMHD and month at the Geelong Cats, we have several programs in place to support our Club and Community:

  • GMHBA Healthy Heroes program is designed by our Geelong Cats Community Education team which aims to support the awareness of, and ways to support mental health and wellbeing for our school communities.
  • Read the Play is a mental health literacy program the Cats partner with, designed for junior levels of sports clubs to improve mental health awareness and help-seeking behaviours, and reduce stigma
  • PlayWell is our club’s new health and wellbeing initiative which embraces the factors of mind, body, purpose, place as pillars to foster a holistic approach to supporting the health and wellbeing of our people and players.
GMHBA Healthy Heroes: Students from Belmont Primary School enjoy the Grade 3/4 'Veterans' program with Joel Selwood, Brandan Parfitt and Darcy Moloney.

Our Geelong Cats GMHBA Healthy Heroes program mission is to partner with schools in the Greater Geelong region to co-create thriving healthy communities by enabling students to develop key knowledge, skills and tools related to mental health and wellbeing health information.

This program centres around inspiring the joy of learning for our young people about healthy living and wellbeing, so that each person can live a life of greatness. This program helps bring to life our shared vision of helping engage and empower our people to thrive as we collectively build equitable, healthy, active, and inclusive communities.

Our programs are our way of helping to reduce the stigma, to actively promote social and emotional wellbeing, to encourage people to maximise health potential and enhance the coping capacity of individuals, families, and communities, and to increase mental health recovery, so we can build better mental health for our Club, our Community – for All.

Learn more about the programs discussed or about Mental Health Month:

GMHBA Healthy Heroes:
Read the Play:
Mental Health Foundation Australia: