Clubs to give blues the boot

Lauren CelenzaCountryman

The WA Country Football League (WACFL) has teamed up with suicide prevention agency One Life (1ife) to raise awareness of depression and suicide in the bush.

The inaugural ‘1ife Game of the Month’ will be held at the Mukinbudin versus Beacon clash on July 9 and will feature a luncheon with former AFL star Heath Black.

WACFL general manager Cameron Knapton said the project was a great new partnership, and a wonderful thing for footy to get involved in.

“Country footy is a good network to be able to deliver social messaging and in recent tough times in the farming sector, we need to support and raise awareness about suicide,” he said.

“The ‘Belt Up’ message that has been used over the past 15 years has been really good.

“We have had an impact, so by partnering with 1life, hopefully we can have the same effect to make sure we can prevent suicide.”

WACFL executive John Shadbolt, from Mukinbudin, said it was important to raise awareness of mental health within country communities, especially young people.

“The vagaries of the seasons add to the pressure that can lead to mental health issues,” he said.

“Football is the perfect vehicle for this project, as young people identify with their local teams.”

The project, which is officially being launched tomorrow, is predicted to run indefinitely to eventually cover all WA country football teams as a monthly event.

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