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Black Dog Institute and Sydney Swans tackle mental health in schools

Black Dog Institute and the AFL’s Sydney Swans on Tuesday announced they would be partnering to deliver free mental health training to high schools across Australia, marking the start of a larger collaboration between the two organisations.

With a focus on improving the mental health literacy and resilience of Australian school students, the partnership will see a series of evidence-based Black Dog Institute Mental Fitness webinars delivered to high schools across the country, with the aim of helping kids improve their wellbeing and coping skills.

A series of Mental Fitness presentations will also be rolled out to eligible high schools across Sydney, with these schools given the opportunity to sign up for Black Dog Institute’s BITE BACK Challenge to win exclusive Swans prizes, including home-game tickets and signed guernseys.

Sydney Swans fans at eligible Sydney schools will be delighted to see the presentations delivered by Black Dog presenters featuring some of the Swan’s players, including Heath Grundy, Sam Naismith, Jordan Dawson and Robbie Fox.

Black Dog Institute’s Director of Fundraising and Development, Karen Elliff, says the forming of this partnership marks an exciting time.

“We’re really excited to be partnering with the Sydney Swans to expand delivery of our mental health training to Australian high school students, at a city, state and national level,” Elliff said.

“Teaching kids how to build positive mental health skills is so important, and being able to do this with the help of an iconic sporting club like the Sydney Swans helps us reach, connect and resonate with our youth on a whole new level.”

Sydney Swans Head of Customer and Community, Natalie Fagg, said the partnership will bring sport and the community together to teach meaningful life skills.

“For AFL footballers, building resilience and nurturing mental health is just as important as maintaining physical health,” Fagg said.

“We believe it’s really important to strike a balance for well-being and performance.

“Our players will have invaluable experiences they can share with students, and we’re sure they will also learn a lot from the students along the way.”

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