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Hockey champion joins the mental health fight

One in four young Australians will experience mental health issues

Australian hockey champion Anna Flanagan has leant her voice and experience to the latest headspace day campaign, asking young Australians to share what they do to help themselves feel better.

Flanagan, who has been open about her own struggles over the past 12 months, today officially took on the role of headspace day ambassador.

“Being able to openly talk about how you deal with tough times and what you do to look after your mind is something that I can entirely relate to,” she said.

Last week she returned to play in the national league and hopes to translate her comeback into Commonwealth Gold next year on the Gold Coast.

“Looking after my own mental health was a big part of the reason I was able to turn my life back in the right direction,” she said.

The campaign also features NRL star Bevan French and Australian swimming champion James Magnussen.

headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said headspace day is an opportunity for young people to help other young people - right across the country - with advice and simple tips about how to take care of their mental health.

Mr Trethowan said headspace has posed the question “what helps you feel better?” to the entire nation, from the Prime Minister to sportspeople, celebrities to everyday Australians.

headspace wants to educate young people on the importance of looking after their mental health and addressing issues early on, before they become more serious,” he said. 

Anna Flanagan
Head of clinical practice at headspace, Vikki Ryall, said sharing your positive mental health practices can have wide-ranging benefits.

“By talking about how we take care of our mental health it can encourage others to try new ways to look after their health,” she said. “We need to put as much attention and effort into looking after our mind as we do with our body.”

Ms Ryall said there are a lot of simple things you can do that really promote good mental health – including exercise, meditation and staying connected to mates.

Ms Ryall said there are a lot of simple things you can do that really promote good mental health – including exercise, meditation and staying connected to mates.

headspace youth advocate Mason Hope, 18, said he struggled with his self-confidence and worth, which impacted his mental health and wellbeing.

“Seeking help at headspace, my life just got so much better and I felt I was finally accepted and valued,” Mason said.

headspace taught me about meditation and exercise to help me cope when things get tough,” he said.

headspace has made it easy for everyone in Australia to reveal the simple things they do to look after their mental health.

To get involved, go to headspaceday.org.au and download a headspace day placard. Share your personal mental health tip on the placard and hold it up in a photo that can be posted on your social media channels using #headspaceday

“We want people right across the country to share their personal mental health tips and to play a part in supporting young people who might be struggling with their mental health,” Mr Trethowan said.

The facts:
  • One in four young people have experienced a mental health issue in the past 12 months – a higher prevalence than all other age group
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death of young people, accounting for one third of all deaths
  • Research shows that 75 per cent of mental health issues emerge before the age of 25
  • By treating these issues early and providing a holistic model of support, the risk of them developing into more serious problems is greatly decreased.
How you can get involved:
1. Go to headspaceday.org.au, download a headspace day placard and get some tips for a healthy headspace.
2. Share your personal mental health tip on the placard and hold it up in a photo that can be posted on your social media channels using #headspaceday
 
Media contact:
Michael Bennett
headspace Media & Communications Manager
0413 025 385