Members Statement- Outside the Locker Room
I rise today to recognise the work of the Outside the Locker Room Foundation. During the last sitting week, I had the pleasure of meeting the CEO of the foundation, and former AFL player, Jake Edwards. We discussed the need for affirmative action in the area of mental health and how best mental health services can support Victorians living regionally.
Outside The Locker Room Foundation is a non-for profit organisation that is dedicated to supporting sporting clubs, schools and work places with their welfare and education requirements across Australia.
Focusing on areas such as mental health, drugs, alcohol, gambling and domestic violence, the program educates and brings awareness to these topics.
The program values community and aims to bring people together through sport and open discussion. Jake and his team have visited nearly 400 sporting clubs and 200 schools to not only educate people but to also promote the Foundation’s phone app which provides a safe, secure and private welfare platform for individuals to access mental health support 24/7 in times of need.
The Western Australian State Government has committed funding for the program in order for the program to service areas of rural and regional WA. Jake and his colleagues have also been in discussion with the Federal Government about funding, citing remarkable outcomes for those who are struggling.
Whilst one foundation may not be able to resolve all of the mental health issues facing Victorians, it can definitely work towards it. I look forward to facilitating a discussion between the Minister for Mental Health and the foundation in order to secure long term funding for the program which helps so many.