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Mind Mechanics

The Players’ Association provides past and present players with the skills, support and services to optimise their personal wellbeing both during and post their AFL careers.

This season the Wellbeing Services team focused on three key areas:

  • Individual psychology and wellbeing services for current and past players via our National network of psychologists and mental health specialists
  • Wellbeing programs for player wellbeing, resilience and performance in life
  • Wellbeing campaigns and events.

National Psychology Network

The National Psychology network provides a range of mental health services to help players deal with critical incidents, stress or mental illness, in addition to offering proactive services to help enhance resilience and build flourishing lives.

The Network encourages players to consider the services on offer as an opportunity to grow and develop their mental fitness at any stage of their career – not just when things go wrong.

During the year players were invited to access the free independent and confidential psychology service to discuss their health and wellbeing needs. As a result, there was a 10% increase in the use of this service and a threefold increase in past player use.

Wellbeing programs

All of the Association’s mental health and wellbeing programs are evidence based and draw on best practice mental health and wellbeing science – including mindfulness and acceptance based approaches such as positive psychology, acceptance and commitment therapy and adult learning principles.

Programs aim to be engaging, practical and encourage ongoing commitment to personal development. Player feedback and ratings were captured during the year (1=poor to 5=excellent), with players providing an average score of 4 as to how engaging and helpful they found the programs.


Manage Your Mind

Manage Your Mind is designed to develop psychological skills to manage stress, build resilience and improve mental wellbeing.

The program sets a framework for vocational, social, emotional, physical and psychological health and is tailored for first and second year.

Practical Mindfulness

Practical Mindfulness helps players develop mindfulness skills – the ability to tune-in and unhook from distraction.

The aim of this highly practical module is to learn how to develop mental focus, clarity and calm when players need it.


With one in four Australians experiencing a mental illness at some stage in their life, and most mental illness emerging between the ages of 15 and 25, R U OK? focuses on supporting mates, noticing stress and illness and starting conversations that save lives.

The program looks at the signs that may indicate your mate is struggling, how to start a conversation with them and how to encourage the right actions.