07 October 2020
COVID-19 restrictions aren’t stopping Australian athletes from showing their support to Lifeline Australia ahead of World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10th October.
With in-person community visits and events currently on hold due to COVID-19, the 22 athletes involved in the AIS-Lifeline Community Custodians believe it is more important than ever to ensure people are taking care of their mental health.
Now in its second year, the Lifeline Community Custodians program is in place to draw the spotlight on mental health, reduce the stigma around mental illness and encourage people to reach out and get help when they need it.
To fundraise for Lifeline and raise awareness around suicide prevention, the AIS has setup a virtual garden as a place to come together, fundraise for Lifeline, reflect and raise awareness around suicide prevention. The virtual garden will be open until World Mental Health Day.
The virtual garden will be open until World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2020. Visit https://www.outoftheshadows.org.au/AIS for further details.
In early September, a number of Custodians also took part in Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows walks coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day. Since 2012, Out of the Shadows has involved community gatherings being held across the country to provide a safe place for people to come together and remember those lost to suicide.
This year with physical distancing restrictions in place, many Custodians walked solo to reflect and observe the significance of the day, and also took to social media to send messages of hope to those who are struggling.
Victorian boxer Kristy Harris said it was great to see her fellow athletes finding creative ways to show their support.
“With in-person events unable to go ahead this year, it is really important to keep spreading the message that people are not alone, and there is support available to anyone who needs it,” said Harris.
“We know that every 30 seconds in Australia a person reaches out to Lifeline for help, and while we can’t take part in the usual community visits this year, we can all play our part in supporting Lifeline and the life-saving work that they do every day.”
2020-21 Lifeline Community Custodians
Read full athlete bios -https://ais.gov.au/custodians
Alexandra Viney, Rowing Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport
Amanda Bateman, Rowing Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport
Amber Merritt, Basketball Australia, West Australian Institute of Sport
Belle Brockhoff, Snow Australia, NSW Institute of Sport/ Victorian Institute of Sport
Caitlin Thwaites, Netball Australia, VIS
Catriona Bisset, Athletics Australia
Dane Bird-Smith, Athletics Australia
Erik Horrie, Rowing Australia, NSW Institute of Sport
Georgia Wilson, Hockey Australia, West Australian Institute of Sport
Jenna O’Hea, Basketball Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport
Jonathan Goerlach, Triathlon Australia, NSW Institute of Sport
Joshua Di Nucci, Gymnastics Australia
Juliet Haslam, Hockey Australia, South Australian Institute of Sport
Karen Murphy, Bowls Australia
Kristy Harris, Boxing Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport
Lily Gresele, Gymnastics, West Australian Institute of Sport
Louise Ellery, Athletics Australia, ACT Academy of Sport
Matt Lewis, Wheelchair Rugby
Monique Murphy, Swimming Australia, Queensland Academy of Sport
Natasha Scott, Bowls Australia, NSW Institute of Sport
Nathan Katz, Judo Australia
Rachael Lynch, Hockey Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport
You can contact Lifeline by phone on: 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or chat to a Crisis Supporter via text on: 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight.)