Tackle Your Feelings program psychologist Luke Jankie says community coaches have “a valuable role to play” in supporting players’ mental health.
Speaking on The Coaches’ Box podcast, Jankie said coaches were presented with a unique opportunity to leverage their influence among players.
“They have incredible oversight,” Jankie said.
“At community level, there are people that see their coaches more than they see members of their family.
“They certainly like and respect and look to their coaches more than they do other people, so I see the coach in this invaluable position.
“They’ve got oversight to really get to know a group of people, learn how they operate and really get a sense of what’s going on. That puts them in a position to recognise these [mental health] shifts.”
Jankie said coaches could play a connecting role by either linking up with the players themselves or directing them to the appropriate support when a shift in mental health becomes apparent.
“[Coaches] can go and connect to that person themselves, but also connect that person to the appropriate supports that might be needed for them, whether that’s a chat with the family, weights session or a run, time off to relax, or hooking them up with professional support and suggesting they should work with someone like psychologist,” he said.
Listen to the full episode in the media player above/below.