Mental Health + Exercise

AT RISK YOUTH could find a sense of purpose, belonging and build social relationship through sporting activities, which are potential preventive measures for suicide.


Mental Health Crisis


1 in 7 kids experience a mental health challenge by the age of 14.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24.

Females are almost twice as likely (26.2%) to be classified as having a probable serious mental illness as males (13.8%).

Mental health conditions are linked with poorer physical health, including increased smoking, drug use and alcohol consumption. Additionally, the impact on education is seen with higher absenteeism and poorer academic results.

The average cost of therapy per session is $170.


At-Risk Youth and Poverty


13.6 per cent of the population is living in poverty.

Research examining mental health and socioeconomics demonstrated that in the poorest one-fifth of Australians, 25% have high to very-high psychological distress. While not discounting the other cohorts, only 1 in 20 had similar measures in the richest one-fifth.

37% of parents/carers reported not being able to afford help for a child with a mental health condition.


Sport + Debt

Australians spend nearly A$11 billion a year on sport and physical activity participation fees.


35% of households reported greater credit card debit to pay for sporting activities for their kids.

The average cost of sport per kid per year is $1100.

High-income families are far more likely to have children in sport programs (84%) compared to low-income families (58%).


Protective Factors


Sport delivers physical health benefits, social well-being, and mental health benefits.

Sport and physical activity provide a number of protective factors including:

  • Supportive social relationships

  • Sense of purpose

  • Sense of control

  • Effective help seeking

The Facts

With sport providing an outlet, social relationships, a purpose and physiology improvements it is beneficial for children & young adults to play a sport. In combination with therapy, it can bring improved therapy outcomes.

On-going cost for therapy & exercise not feasible for every household. There is currently no free service available to provide free sporting experiences at registered clubs or gyms. For some households, this is where it ends. We want to open the door to sport for children & young adults for those households. 

“Social participation and inclusion are inextricably linked with mental health and wellbeing. Conversely, participation in social and community activities correlates with improved mental health. Social inclusion, in the context of mental health, is about how communities engage and include people living with a mental illness and whether those with a mental illness feel connected, valued, accepted, or positive about the communities in which they live.” (p.22)

Productivity Commission Issues Paper - The Social and Economic Benefits of Improving Mental Health

further reading

youth focus WA

Looking for information on therapy and counselling services?


Youth Focus delivers frontline services and education programs which aim to reduce symptoms associated with suicide, depression, anxiety and self-harm, and build long-term mental wellbeing to help young people reach their full potential.

mental health commission of wa

Looking for information on the industry is WA?


The Mental Health Commission strives to establish mental health, alcohol and other drug systems that meet the needs of Western Australia’s population and deliver quality outcomes for individuals and their families.

Act belong commit

Their overall vision is to work toward a society that values mental health and where everyone has the opportunity to be mentally healthy by creating supportive environments that strengthens individual and community resilience. Check out their website for plenty of informative resources and helpful information.

The Good Chat Foundation would like to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Australia’s First People and Traditional Custodians. The Good Chat Foundation pays its respects to Elders past and present and are committed to making a positive contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young adults by providing sponsorships that are inclusive, safe and culturally appropriate.

©2020 by The Good Chat Foundation. 

Counselling Services:

Youth Focus - (08) 6266 4333

Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800

For Immediate Support:

Lifeline - 13 11 14

Emergency - 000