By Jamie Salter
Local sporting teams recently participated in the Headspace Cup – a day designed to combat men’s mental health stigma.
Pakenham Junior Football Club U/17’s versed Frankston Rover’s Junior Football Club U/17’s in the headline match on Sunday 19 June.
Held at the Pakenham Junior Football Club, Pakenham came away with a win of 111 to seven.
Pakenham Junior Football Club secretary Amanda Walters said it was a great game to watch.
“There was enough people to get the point across that we’re focusing on youth mental health across all of our teams but particularly our men’s teams,“ she said.
“We’re creating a safe environment where if someone is struggling they can reach out for support.“
About nine matches were held across both ovals and marquees and youth volunteers were set up with activities and information about mental health.
Cardinia Youth Services were also in attendance with a giant Connect 4 and the Pakenham Junior Football Club’s lion mascot came out for part of the afternoon.
There was a trophy awarded to the winning team and two medals went to the best club members from each team.
A table was set up for two raffles on the day, with one raffle fundraising for Headspace and another fundraising for the Football Club.
Local businesses and organisations generously donated prizes to be won for the two raffles.
Pakenham Headspace community engagement coordinator Caitlin Frost said the event was about encouraging people to check in with their mates and to promote a range of services available for young people.
“It was a successful day – we had a lot of engagement from parents and family members who attended,“ Ms Frost said.
“It was originally organised last year but it was postponed due to Covid-19, so it was great to get out in the community.
“We’ve timed it in line with Men’s Health Week because it’s so important to get out there and remind young men that there is support out there and what options there are.“