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Mental Health + Community Sport

In our local communities we can find a sense of purpose, belonging and build social relationship through sporting activities and clubs, 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.

Suicide deaths remain at an unacceptably high rate in Western Australia, with 383 deaths by suicide in 2018.

Western Australia’s suicide rate was approximately 20% higher than the national average in 2016 and has been consistently higher than the national average since 2007.

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.

In the DSR 2017 Community Perceptions Survey, it was shown that around 8 in 10 Western Australians believe it’s important for sport and active recreation to help us feel good about ourselves and build our confidence and self-esteem.

AusPlay (2019), reports that 22% of Australian and 21% of West Australian adults, plus 45% of Australian and 43% of West Australian children participate in sport through clubs and associations.

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

The Postvention Australia Guidelines reported the following statistics:


“In 2015, there were 3,027 suicides in Australia. This means that there were at least 18,162 people bereaved by suicide and up to 181,620 people affected by suicide including their family, friends and class or workmates“ (p.8, 2017).

The power of sport

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