Important to maintain mental fitness

A new program looking to help reduce the stigma attached to mental fitness and promote early intervention in Port Lincoln football clubs is a great step in the right direction.

University of South Australia occupational therapy students Kate Sargeant and Ellen Bowley (pictured) have started the program 'Kicking Goals for Men's Wellbeing', which will involve one of the key parts of the Lower Eyre Peninsula community, our football clubs.

Not only will the program help male footballers of all ages by starting those conversations, but it will also create a ripple effect in the environment from within the clubs for everyone involved to have those conversations.

There has been a lot of effort recently across the Eyre Peninsula tackling mental wellbeing, whether it has been the ongoing efforts from Mentally Fit EP, the Rotary Men's Wellbeing Campaign or even the ongoing advocacy by Williams Boxing Gym, which has received support for ongoing work from the Port Lincoln Community Bank, as also seen in today's edition.

Despite all this work from so many great organisations and people, it can still be difficult for people, especially men to open up about their feelings and discuss any personal problems they may be facing.

However the message has been clear, it is okay to open up and talk to someone if you are experiencing problems.

Many of us know how close knit our local sporting clubs are, once a week people run out onto the field and play alongside each other, then when it is over gather together for drinks, a meal and a casual chat.

As Lincoln South coach Paul Stelzer told the Port Lincoln Times, it had been taboo to talk about mental wellbeing in a football club but it was a place where you should because you were surrounded by friends.

He said Lincoln South had been serious about providing support within the club, with older and younger men mixing well and conversing with each other.

Any effort made to help improve the collective mental fitness of the community is welcomed and it would be good to share your insights with what was needed, what challenges there have been in the area and what the end goal is with Miss Sargeant and Miss Bowley if you seen them on the street.

Being physically fit is important but so is being mentally fit, and knowing the tools to keep fit.