By Josh Rak
Last Saturday the Monbulk Football Club unveiled its Wall of Support at the official opening ceremony of their new Community Sports Pavilion.
The Wall of Support is a bold initiative aimed at spreading the topic of mental health amongst the Monbulk community. Emblazoned proudly across two walls inside the new pavilion is the bright and colourful information centre, which provides vital mental and other health related information to those in need. As well as helping to de-stigmatise mental health issues in the community, the Wall’s presence will encourage the people of Monbulk and any members of visiting clubs to seek treatment for mental health issues as per any other physical ailment.
The initiative was the brainchild of former club president Michael Corcoran. Following the loss of a great mate to mental illness, Corcoran felt that he could not sit idly by as mental health issues continued to take a significant toll on small communities. Recognising the opportunity that existed through the redevelopment of Monbulk’s shared sporting facilities, Corcoran pledged to raise a substantial sum of money for the project, however, this came with a strict caveat: that mental health awareness took a front seat in the community going forward. With the help of Paul Utting and the Monbulk Recreation Reserve Development Group, more than $90 000 was raised for the new facilities, with all the money pledged in the name of mental health awareness.
Putting the topic of mental health on the table and stimulating discussion is the first step towards supporting those we love. Hopefully other clubs will be inspired to do the same and we can change the dialogue of dealing with mental health issues through the power of grassroots support and awareness. The Monbulk Football club welcomes anyone into our community to come and see the Wall of Support and to start a conversation.