The eighth annual beyondblue VFL Cup is shaping up as a ripper as the Box Hill Hawks prepare to defend their crown.
In a match that aims to encourage conversations about depression and anxiety, the Box Hill Hawks will take on the Werribee Tigers at the Box Hill City Oval on Sunday, 23 July from 2pm.
Guest speaker at the President’s Luncheon before the match will be beyondblue volunteer Daniel Bolger, an Aboriginal men’s support worker who used footy to get his own life back on track.
Mr Bolger became a beyondblue speaker because he wants to help break down the stigma associated with mental health and to encourage people to get help if they are struggling.
Box Hill Hawks general manager Daniel Napoli was excited about the upcoming Cup, saying it was a great way to get people talking about their mental health.
“Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be like physical injuries – anyone can get injured and with the right support, they can be treated,” Mr Napoli said.
“Box Hill is proud to help spread the word that no one should suffer alone,” he said.
Werribee Tigers CEO Mark Penaluna said the team would do their best to claw back the cup from the Hawks, who won it from them the previous year.
“The Werribee Football Club is eager to support and promote beyondblue’s work in the area of mental health, especially as it relates to men. The beyondblue VFL Cup clash between the Hawks and the Tigers is always a great event and this year will be no exception,” Mr Penaluna said.
beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said talking about mental health issues was important, especially for men.
“Mental health conditions like depression are huge risk factors for suicide, and, tragically, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian men aged 15-44; six men take their lives each day,” she said.
If you or someone you care about is struggling, you can talk to trained mental health professionals 24/7 via the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636, via web chat from 3pm to midnight (AEST) every night at www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support, or via email.