The Hawthorn Amateur Football Club community has been touched by the far-reaching effects of depression on more than one occasion. After the tragic passing of two former players and a former player’s father, the club were compelled to take action to both raise awareness around mental health and prevent further tragedy. The club recognised a gap in the link between education and access to real, tangible services; with one of the greatest barriers to accessing mental health services being the cost. As a result, Hawthorn Amateur Football Club set up the Wings Mental Health Fund.
The fund can be accessed anonymously by any member of the club’s extended community to financially support mental health services. Details of how to access the Wings program are outlined below. HAFC continues to raise awareness, educate the community and support the Wings Mental Health Fund via a number of avenues. Every year, four members complete Mental Health First Aid training and become Wings Ambassadors. The club holds annual events including breakfasts and lunches, attended and hosted by AFL identities, politicians, and prominent medical professionals. Amongst other fundraising events, the club also engages specific Wings partners to ensure the fund is sustainable and may be accessed and used to support those who need it in years to come. The annual Wings Trophy is named to honour Jacob Pitcher, Peter Lynch and David Holland and is awarded to the person who best looks after their mates both on and off the field.
Accessing the Wings Mental Health Fund
The Club currently has Wings Ambassadors who have all completed Mental Health First Aid. Sarah Ward, Pat Clancey, Matt Tanis, Daniel Grieves and James Ridley are passionate advocates for mental health and are willing and able to provide support or direction to services. These members are also able to provide information regarding access to the Wings Fund. All conversations with a Wings Ambassador are confidential. As noted, the Wings Mental Health Fund is available to assist anyone in the Club’s extended community to access mental health services. The fund will cover Medicare gap costs for psychologist, psychiatrist and counselling services. It is recommended that you see a GP to get a Mental Health Plan at some stage.
HAFC has partnered with MYND Psychological Clinic in Hawthorn. If you do not have an existing relationship with another clinic, we recommend seeing MYND first. Mention that you are visiting as part of the HAFC Wings program and the club will cover the costs. This is 100% anonymous as the invoice only lists a client number, never a name. If you have an existing clinic, please email any receipts and your bank details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your privacy is paramount and is of utmost importance to us. Therefore, accessing the Wings Fund is kept strictly confidential.
Dealing with Loneliness
Frontline worker and HAFC player, Hannah Nicholls, shares her story of hotel isolation as a close contact of a confirmed case, and the impact it had on her mental health.
Read her story here.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Start by seeing your GP. The Better Access Scheme provides a Medicare Rebate for people with to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. In order to take advantage of the scheme, the person seeking treatment needs to first see their GP to develop a Mental Health Treatment Plan which is a document the GP and patient work on together. It includes an assessment of mood, specific life difficulties and goals which may be achieveable within a set period of time. Up to 10 individual sessions per year can be subsidised by the Medicare Scheme.
If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
The club has partnered with Upwell Health Collective, Camberwell, as our official Physiotherapy partner. Upwell is run by qualified Sports Physiotherapists and one of their physios will be at training on Tuesday nights to assess injuries.
All injured players are required to be at training on Tuesday nights to be assessed by the physio and given a rehab program. If it is necessary, you may be directed to make an appointment with the physio to further treat your injury. Upwell will provide all Hawks members a $110 voucher to use across all Upwell services
Basic player insurance is provided through Marsh when players register. The Personal Injury cover starts at a standard level called Bronze.
Benefits on non-Medicare Medical costs includes:
- 50% Reimbursement
- $2,000 max. per claim
- $100 excess per claim
It is important to note that the benefits stop as soon as you start playing again. Click here for more information and links to make a claim.
HAFC highly recommend every player has some level of private health insurance. Footballers are prone to injury and seeking the right treatment is paramount to returning to the field.
HAFC strongly encourages all players to get Ambulance Cover. Ambulance Victoria Cover is affordable and costs less than $50 a year for singles. The average cost of an emergency transport is more than $1100. Private Health Insurance may not cover you. Many Private Health Funds have significant limitations, exclusions or caps to ambulance cover. Visit their website to join.