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New partnership with beyondblue shines light on mental health within the triathlon community

Chances are that at some point in your life, you or someone in your Triathlon Club has been touched by depression, anxiety or suicide.

One in six Australians is living with depression, anxiety, or both, and tragically around eight Australians take their own lives every day.

As part of the Triathlon NSW Community Sports Link Program, we are partnering with beyondblue, a national, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of depression, anxiety and suicide prevention in Australia.

“The partnership will be a big step toward raising awareness of the positive effect that active participation in sport can play in an individual’s mental health. We also hope that the partnership will result in the increased understanding of mental health conditions within the triathlon community,” said Phil Dally CEO of Triathlon NSW.

According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Having social connections, good personal relationships and being part of a community are vital to maintaining good mental health and contribute to people's recovery, should they become unwell. Triathlon clubs can play an important role within the community to encourage physical activity and promote social interaction.

“Our clubs can be an important catalyst for supporting mental wellbeing in the community’” said Phil. “The partnership will mean that both beyondblue speakers and information materials are available to TNSW clubs to help strengthen their ability to support good mental health.

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said she is very grateful to Triathlon NSW for working with the triathlon community to promote awareness of good physical and mental health, and raise funds for beyondblue.

“Triathlon NSW is showing impressive leadership in its sport and we value this partnership. Together, we can remind people that depression and anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of whether they’re very fit sportspeople or sports fans,” she said.

“The main thing for everyone to know is that support is available if you’re having a tough time, including through the beyondblue Support Service, which has mental health professionals available around the clock by phone on 1300 22 4636, or online at www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support.”

To encourage more people to become involved, Triathlon NSW will be running a Fan Engagement Zone at the upcoming beyondblue Wests Tigers v Souths NRL game on 10 June at ANZ Stadium.

An exciting joint initiative will also see budding and seasoned triathletes encouraged to take on a triathlon or multisport challenge in support of beyondblue. Details will be announced soon!

If you feel that you may be affected by depression or anxiety remember they are common conditions and effective treatments are available. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery.

The beyondblue Support Service is available by phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM-12AM AEST) or email responses.



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