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 hawthornafc@gmail.com. Your privacy is paramount and is of utmost importance to us. Therefore, accessing the Wings Fund is kept strictly confidential.

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Rathmines Road Reserve, Hawthorn East VIC


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