Mental health advocate and former Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd is helping spearhead this year’s Sons of the West program when it kicks off later this month.
Since hanging up the boots at the end of the 2019 AFL season, the premiership player has openly discussed his own experience battling the still often taboo topic of mental health.
Boyd will join each Sons of the West group for a session dedicated to decreasing stigma and encouraging those who need help to reach out.
“I am excited to be involved once again in the Sons of the West program in 2021 and can’t wait to be a part of the great value that it provides to our communities,” he said.
Boyd said last year’s lengthy COVID-19 lockdowns and the continued fallout of the global pandemic mean there has never been a more important time to shine a light on mental health.
“If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that things change quickly, and being able to deal with the stress associated with change is more important than ever,” he said.
“With this in mind, a huge priority for all of us moving forward is taking care of our mental health, looking after our physical health and investing in the interpersonal relationships we have in our lives and our communities.”
Widely considered to be Australia’s most successful men’s health program, Sons of the West has been delivered annually by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation since 2014.
The free program runs in partnership with local councils across the west, educating men on important issues that impact their health.
Mental health is a key topic alongside nutrition, gender equality and intercultural understanding.
The weekly program is split into a one-hour education component before a one-hour physical activity session.
An online course will run this year along with sessions at locations including Newport, Laverton, Fraser Rise, West Melton, West Footscray, Braybrook, St Albans and Sunbury.
Further details: www.sonsofthewest.org.au