Our Research 

Maximising the mental health and wellbeing of young athletes – The AFL Mental Health and Wellbeing Study (AFL MH&W Study)
The AFL MH&W study is a research collaboration between the AFL and Deakin University. It is a world-first study looking at factors associated with mental health, wellbeing, and healthy development in young Australian Rules Football players. This research will help the AFL to make positive changes to support the mental health and development of players. People of any gender aged 16 to 25 years currently playing Australian Rules Football (at any level) are invited to participate. Find out more.

The Role of AFL Club Doctors in supporting mental health of AFL Players
The AFL Doctor’s Association (AFLDA) and the AFL have conducted a systematic review and Delphi consensus study to develop best practice recommendations concerning the role of Club Doctors in supporting the mental health of professional Australian Rules football players.

This is the first study to report on consensus for the role of club doctors in managing mental health of athletes in professional Australian Rules Football. Most of the support for elite athlete mental health has focused on improving mental health awareness. This study highlights that a multi-disciplinary team and whole club approach is needed to successful support player mental health. This study provides a starting point for club doctors to respond to the varied needs of elite athletes in the Australian Football Domain. A research snapshot of the findings is Here. Read the full paper Here.

The International Olympic Committee has developed a Toolkit on managing mental ill health in elite athletes. Find out more.

Towards improving the wellbeing of women athletes
This study builds on the research partnership between Victoria University and the AFL. The needs of women athletes are different and the support they require to thrive is equally unique. At present, there is a lack of information available about gender-specific factors that impact the mental health and wellbeing of Australian women athletes. AFLW has partnered with Victoria University in seeking women athletes to join a study that examines their mental health and factors crucial to wellbeing. The information collected from this study will be used to help clubs support players’ needs and development. Find out more.