AFL Goldfields is holding mental health forum on Monday night to help coaches and club officials better handle mental health issues within sporting clubs.

The forum, which is open to all netball and football coaches, and administrators in the area, will include a number of special guests, who will provide experiences and tools to help with mental health issues.

AFL Goldfields’ football development manager Gary Learmonth said it was important for the region’s governing body to look at ways they can help clubs.

He said mental health was a massive issue, not only in sporting clubs, but also in the community.

“There’s been a few issues in the football community with mental health,” he said.

“Between last season and this season, there’s been a couple of young people involved in football clubs taking their own lives.

“Coaches are at the forefront. Outside of parents, they are among the most influential people in the lives of young people.”

Learmonth, a football coach himself, said sporting clubs were all in compassing and an environment where people could help each other out.

He said depending on the success of the forum, they would look at other things to help with mental health awareness down the track.

“So many people don’t know much about it,” he said.

“Even is we provide one person with assistance, we’re playing our role.”

Among the guest speakers are former and current coaches, from local and higher levels. They will each speak for 10 to 15 minutes on their experiences.

Former Diggers Rest coach Shaun Sims, who has been open about his mental health issues, will speak along with current Coburg VFL coach and former Northern Melbourne player Leigh Adams.

Dr Mandy Ruddock-Hudson, who is involved at the AFL Coaches Association as a welfare officer, is another of the guess speakers.

The forum is being held at Bacchus Marsh Town Hall from 6.30pm.

Registration is required. You can register at

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