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How to select mental health program providers for sports clubs

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Read our evidence-based tips on selecting mental health program providers for sports clubs, leagues and associations.

Key messages

  • Providing mental health programs to participants in sports clubs, leagues and associations is vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities.

  • Monash University research shows there is a wide range of mental health and wellbeing program providers working with sporting organisations.

  • However, the findings show that the sector is largely unregulated, with program providers offering differing services of varying quality.

  • VicHealth has developed a toolkit designed to help sports organisations select the right provider and deliver the best possible mental health and wellbeing program to participants.


Download: Toolkit: Tips for selecting a mental health provider (PDF, 1.1 MB)


Why support for mental health and wellbeing in sport is important 

Community sport offers an ideal space to support mental health and wellbeing, particularly for young people. 

It provides a safe space and trusted network where people feel socially connected.

High numbers of young people participate in organised sport, meaning that clubs, leagues and associations can provide an important context outside schools where positive messages, mental health education and guidance regarding support services can be provided.


Why selecting the right mental health and wellbeing program is vital 

There is a rapidly increasing number of organisations offering mental health and wellbeing support services to sports organisations in Victoria, from guest talks to education programs.

Clubs have a duty of care to ensure that the providers they select are safe and do no harm to the health and wellbeing of their participants.

Navigating the range of programs to select a provider can be challenging. Below is a list of questions to help your organisation through the process, which are explained in more detail in the downloadable toolkit.


Tips for selecting a mental health and wellbeing program provider

  • What expertise in mental health and wellbeing in sport does the provider organisation have?

  • Are mental health professionals involved in developing programs?

  • Who are the program facilitators and what are their qualifications?

  • What evidence can the organisation provide that documents their program’s impact?

  • How long has the provider worked within the community sport sector?

  • What approach or model does the organisation use?

  • Does the provider seek to support ongoing cultural change in your club?


Useful resources 

You will find a list of providers offering mental health and wellbeing support to community sports clubs in Victoria here. Please note that VicHealth does not endorse any providers on this list.

VicHealth’s Be Healthy blog: Ten go-to mental health organisations for young people

Reboot Sport blog: 4 Steps to Reboot Mental Health through Sport

AFL and Orygen guidelines: What works for mental health in sporting teams

Head to Health advice:



VicHealth is partnering with VicSport to share this work with the sport sector. If you would like to ask a question or share your experience, please get in contact via email: [email protected]

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
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Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.