Mental Health is an area of life that doesn’t discriminate, and it’s something that often goes unnoticed at Footy Clubs.
As a club, we want to do more to help those in our football family that are having a tough time and are not coping well. As such, the club is extremely excited to introduce Melissa Adams, mother of current players, James and Jordan, as our club welfare manager.
Melissa is an experienced professional counsellor and mental health worker and is passionate about mental health, so is an ideal person to look after this important role.
How does this role work and how do I make contact with Melissa ?
To start with it may involve just having a casual chat at a home game on a Saturday, and that may be enough. However if you feel you need something a little more formal, you can make an appointment to meet with Melissa at her office for a private and confidential consultation, that is entirely up to you.

How much will it cost ?
Your first consultation is FREE. If you choose to engage with Melissa for a professional counselling session, the the first visit at her practice would be free of charge (covered by the club). Strict confidentiality applies and the club would not be provided any details of your session with Melissa.

Work with teams and coaching staff.
In addition Melissa will be promoting how to improve mental health and looks forward to working closely with coaches and players in any capacity.
If you are interested in finding out a bit more about Melissa and her practice, click the link to their website:

Melissa is a qualified counsellor and mental health worker who is available for CONFIDENTIAL sessions regarding any issues that are concerning a club member (including players, coaches, volunteers, or admin).

Pennant Hills AFL Club will pay for the first session.

Remember, it is OK to seek help or advice.

Call or text Melissa on 0435  892 670


LOOK out for the signs

Sometimes it can be hard to know if your friend is going through a rough patch or whether there might be something more serious going on like anxiety or depression.
You might notice that they are not hanging out with their friends as much anymore or are always tired and feeling down. They might be snappier or perhaps look a mess.
When you notice these changes, check in with your friend to see if they’re OK.

LISTEN to your friend’s experiences

Sitting and quietly listening is the next step. Don’t rush to offer advice. Let them know you are there for them and that you want to help where you can. If they don’t want to talk about it, respect that. Let them know you are worried and that you are happy to listen when they want to talk, or suggest other people. By listening and responding in a non-judgmental and reassuring manner, you are helping in a major way.

TALK about what’s going on

Knowing what to say can sometimes be difficult. You might not be sure how to start a conversation with them, or you might be worried about saying the wrong thing. You could say things like “I’ve noticed that you seem a bit down lately”, or perhaps, “You seem like you are really down, and not yourself, I really want to help you. Is there anything I can do?” Showing that you are willing to listen to what is going on can be really supportive for your friend. You don’t need to have all the answers.

SEEK help together

Encourage your friend to get some support. They might want to start by talking with their family about has been going on or they may prefer to talk with someone that they do not know, like a doctor or health professional. You could help them to find and arrange an appointment with a health professional; you might even offer to go with them to their first appointment to help them feel more relaxed about it. If they don’t feel comfortable with the first health professional, then you could help them find another.

Adapted from