Aussie athletes front headcoach campaign to promote mental health

26 July 2018

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Leading male athletes are working with PlayersVoice and headspace to inspire young men to work on their mental health.

Several leading male athletes across all of the football codes and cricket have signed up for a powerful campaign to promote the importance of maintain mental health fitness.

The campaign, a collaboration between PlayersVoice and headspace, presents real-life stories and experiences about the challenges they have faced to maintain a healthy mind and coping mechanisms.

The sports stars include AFL players Tom Boyd and Dale Thomas, Australian Test Cricketer Usman Khawaja, Wallaby Kurtley Beale, NSW Rugby League player James Tedesco, Socceroo Daniel Arzani and eSports star Brandon Defina.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among young Australians, and men are three-times more likely to take their own lives than women.

One in seven young men aged between 16 and 24 experience depression or anxiety each year but only 13% will seek help.

One of the stars of the campaign is Socceroo Daniel Arzani, widely regarded as one Australian football's brightest prospects for the future.

In his video (see below), Arzani talks about the pressure of being away from his family while training at the AIS and how important it is for him to live a healthy lifestyle, including getting good sleep, to ensure he is mentally prepared for each day.

"The best thing to deal with (anxiety) is to do everything right outside of football," Arzani said. "Having a healthy diet helps your energy levels and makes sure you are not tired throughout the day. Sleep is probably the most important recovery tool and it's probably the most important tool to keep yourself in a good headspace."

The nationwide campaign runs until early September and targets young men 18-25. It will run across free-to-air and pay-TV, out-of-home including stadium signage, and targeted digital and social executions with 15 second, 30 second and 2 minute versions.

The videos can be viewed at the headcoach website or on YouTube.

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