The AFL Players’ Association wishes to issue the following statement in response to a story by the Herald Sun featuring commentary by gambling counsellor Jan Beames.
Gambling is a significant societal issue among young men, which is why the AFLPA engages the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to run proactive programming for AFL players.
Current and past players who require treatment for gambling-related issues, and any other mental health issues, can access a national network of 120 specialist psychologists and psychiatrists through the AFLPA on a free and confidential basis. It has been well documented that hundreds of current and past male and female players utilize this service annually.
Ms Beames is not a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist and therefore the AFLPA does not refer players to her service. The AFLPA only refers players to practitioners that are bound by an ethical code regulated by a body recognised by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The services utilised by the AFLPA ensure that our members’ confidential treatment details are not the subject of dangerous and unsubstantiated public commentary.
Ms Beames is aware of the reasons as to why the AFLPA has not approved her to be part of its national psychology network.
The Herald Sun would have been in a position to include this information in its story had the journalist bothered to contact the AFLPA.