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SMJFL Tackles Mental Health Again in 2021

The South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) will engage with the AFL Coaches Association’s Tackle Your Feelings program again in 2021 to help upskill local level coaches’ understanding of mental health.

Tackle Your Feelings is a mental health training initiative designed for community football clubs that strives to improve the abilities and awareness of mental health by building skills to foster an environment where athletes are supported to effectively manage their emotions.

The initiative will result in community coaches from around the SMJFL participating in mental health training, delivered by local psychologists, before undertaking further online learning.

SMJFL Chief Executive Officer Sarah Loh said the league was excited to reaffirm its partnership with Tackle Your Feelings.

“The SMJFL is thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking project once more in 2021,” she said.

“Understanding your players is important, but looking after their mental health is important, too,” said Ms Loh.

“The program and its learning modules will equip our community coaches with the tools and understanding they need to look after their players,” she said.

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SMJFL Ambassador, St Kilda AFLW Coach Peta Searle, spoke of the role that community coaches play in the mental wellbeing of their players.

“Coaches are in a position to positively impact young people’s mental health, but maybe be unaware of what to do and how to support,” said Ms Searle.

“The Tackle Your Feelings program will help coaches engage understand, recognise and manage behaviours that support the mental health wellbeing of their players. As such, we are important community gate keepers in championing the mental health of our players.”

Need Support? If you know someone who requires urgent assistance or support, please contact:

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Mens Line Australia: 1300 78 99 78

Support for AFL Players: If you are a current or past AFL Player and would like to know more about our specialised wellbeing and mental health services please contact the AFL Players’ at or Tel. 03-8651 4300 (Mon to Fri, 9am – 5pm).


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