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The stress can bottle up and destroy you: Wingard

Cyril Rioli, Chad Wingard and Neville Jetta have opened up about the stress and struggles of life in a powerful video aiming to help young indigenous Australians “with a lot going on”.

The players are ambassadors for the partnership between the AFL Players’ Association and Yarn Safe – the first youth-led national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health campaign.

“The stress that you can get, it can really bottle up and take over you and really destroy you as a person if you don’t get it out,” Wingard said.

“I had some people that I was comfortable talking to and it felt safe. headspace is a great place to go to elevate your problems and get help.”


Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh said the partnership formed with headspace to help improve mental health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth was an important one.

“Player support and mental wellbeing is fundamental to our organisation, so to have three outstanding guys such as Chad, Cyril and Neville passing on the message that there’s no shame in talking about their issues, reinforces our daily practice here at AFL Players’,” he said.

Chris Tanti, headspace CEO, said the campaign would hopefully build on the early progress made by Yarn Safe.

“Already headspace has seen dramatic increases in the number of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people walking through our doors, increasing from 7.6 per cent to almost 10 per cent in just a few months.

“We’re thrilled that Cyril, Chad and Neville are not only lending their support to Yarn Safe, but have openly discussed their experiences and feelings.

“The importance of these three young men, who are respected by their communities for their activities both on and off the field, cannot be overstated. They fearlessly face the camera and say there is no shame in talking it out.”