Putting mental health on the field – an interview with Trish Medwin
Ahead of tomorrow’s Footy for Life Game Day, we took the opportunity to chat to Trish Medwin, Captain of the Spartans Women’s AFL team, to find out what she loves about footy and how she looks after her mental health in work and life.
What do you love about footy?
“AFL is a way of life for so many people. I love the thrill of the contest, the passion of the crowd, the commitment of club volunteers, the rich club history and the opportunity to leave a legacy for those that come after us.
“Footy to me is a sense of belonging and AFLW really is a sisterhood. Standing and playing alongside strong, empowering women is a thrilling experience and I’m so happy more and more female players are putting on the boots and paving a female pathway. I’ve made lifelong friends on and off the field, and developed so much as a person, not only in my football journey, but also in my personal life.”
How does footy support better mental health and suicide prevention in the community?
“The Footy for Life team have done an amazing job in creating a platform around one of Australia’s greatest loves, AFL. Leigh had a vision to bring footy and mental health together on the field to create community awareness and education by understanding that mental illness can strike anyone.
“It [mental health] knows no gender, age limits, economic status, race, creed or colour. We need to remove the stigma that it’s weak to be struggling or to ask for help… Football really brought me out of some very hard times when I struggled with my own mental health. I owe so much to my football for giving me self-worth and confidence again. I am who I am because of football and the amazing people around me.”
What does mental health mean to you in the context of work and your career?
“I currently work in Higher Education where 1 in 5 students is suffering from a mental health issue, with depression and anxiety topping the list. My workplace have a wonderful support network for students and we are very lucky to have a work environment that has mental health at the forefront for students and staff. When it comes to my team, I am very conscious of their physical and mental health. Regular check-ins, using different management and communication styles, and a supportive leadership group ensures team members of all levels are supported in the workplace.”
What’s your best self-care tip?
“Exercise and getting your endorphins going. Even if I don’t feel like it after a hard day, I know I will feel so much better after a training session with the girls. Also when I get overwhelmed or my mind is wearing me down, I take my shower in complete darkness… it lets me focus more on being in the moment and feeling the warm water relax my body. I imagine all my worries escaping down the drain.”
MatchWorks is proudly sponsoring the Footy for Life Perth fundraising event advocating for better mental health and suicide prevention in the community on Saturday 22nd January, 2022. Read the full news story for more details.