The Geelong Cats are teaming up with The Resilience Project and GMHBA to deliver a new mental health program, The Resilience Project powered by GMHBA.

GMHBA and the Cats share a rich history of engaging with local community schools, with a commitment to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and strong community values.

The Resilience Project, powered by GMHBA with support from the Geelong Football Club, will see almost 2,000 students from Newcomb Primary School, Whittington Primary School, Lara Primary School, Geelong East Primary School and Western Heights Secondary College embark on a two-year program learning the principles of GEM (Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness) and Emotional Literacy.

The program will teach and support positive mental health in the classroom, staff room and wider community, with proven impact through evidence-based evaluations.

Geelong Cats stars Mitch Duncan and Georgie Prespakis were at the official launch of the partnership at Western Heights Secondary College on Tuesday.

The program will commence in schools in April, with the program to bring together schools in Geelong Cluster for big week of The Resilience Project activities at the GMHBA Stadium.

Geelong Football Club CEO Steve Hocking said he was excited to see the new partnership come to life.

“We’re thrilled to see the next iteration of our Cats Community schools-based program take shape with the Resilience Project, with continued support from GMHBA in the school health program space,” Hocking said.

“Geelong Cats players across both our men’s and women’s programs will be involved in delivering the program, helping to share important messages about mental health and wellbeing providing positive and nurturing environments for the young people in our region to thrive.”


GMHBA CEO David Greig said the benefits for students who have already participated in the program showed improved confidence, self-esteem and ability to express emotions.

“Investing in a program that directly impacts the mental health and wellbeing of school children is something GMHBA is proud to stand behind,” he said.

“One-in-four adolescents will experience mental health problems this year and nearly two-thirds of them will not seek help, so supporting local efforts in this space responds to widespread community need.”

The Resilience Project CEO Ben Waterman said The Resilience Project’s School Wellbeing Program has already been implemented in more than 800 schools nationwide, with the program’s efficacy independently assessed by the University of Adelaide and the University of Melbourne, showing very promising results.

“A preventative approach is the key to tackling Australia’s youth mental health crisis. Our evidence-based, positive wellbeing strategies build young people’s capacity to deal with adversity,” he said.

“We are excited to work with GMHBA and the Geelong Cats to provide access to this program to even more students in the Geelong area.”