AFL Mental Health and Wellbeing Team

 

Our Team 

Dr Kate Hall Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing, AFL
Kate is a clinical psychologist and  senior academic in addiction and mental health at Deakin University. She leads the Mental Health and Wellbeing team at the AFL. She has worked with AFL and AFLW footballers for many years to address mental health conditions and optimise wellbeing. Her role at the AFL requires her to lead policy, research and cultural reform to create mentally healthy and capable systems that support the wellbeing of all AFL people and communities.

Dr Ranjit Menon, Chief Psychiatrist, AFL
Ranjit is a consultant psychiatrist and has worked over the last decade in managing psychiatric disorders in elite athletes across multiple sports in Australia. As the Chief Psychiatrist of AFL he provides clinical support for the mental healthcare teams in clubs and clinical governance leadership. He is the current Vice President of the International Society for Sports Psychiatry and an external consultant for Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, Rugby Australia, Australian Institute of Sport and the lead sports psychiatrist for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic & Paralympic Games for the Australian contingent. He is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Monash University and the Director of Mentalogue Clinic which manages psychiatric disorders in elite athletes.

Emma Harris, AFLW Mental Health Practice Lead, AFL 
Emma is a Sport and Exercise Psychologist with over 10 years experience in the sporting industry, having worked with elite, professional, and olympic athletes across different sporting codes.  Her experience has seen her involved in the performance and wellbeing of athletes, providing intervention and case management in both psychology and player development roles.  Emma’s role at the AFL is to support the team of Player Development Managers with best practice guidance, supervision and professional development to ensure all AFLW players receive continuity of care and support for their wellbeing and personal development across the league. 

Nicky Couston Prevention and Wellbeing Programs Manager, AFL
Nicky holds a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) and has been part of the AFL industry for 16 years, focusing her work on supporting the wellbeing and development of elite and aspiring athletes. Her role at the AFL is centered around primary prevention - developing frameworks, initiatives and programs supported by the latest evidence in wellbeing science to support mentally fit and capable players and sporting communities. Much of Nicky’s work focuses on the AFL Talent Pathway, equipping our future generation with skills and strategies to confidently navigate challenges and opportunities, in order for young athletes to thrive in football and in life. 

Erin Hoare, Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Lead, AFL

Erin has a PhD in public health and has previously worked as Senior Research Fellow in the area of mental health prevention at Deakin University. Erin oversees the various projects that support the mental health and wellbeing strategy. Erin is passionate in developing evidenced informed systems that promote and nurture mental wellbeing. Erin's role at the AFL includes collaborating with external research partners, acting as advisor on research initiatives, and leading the research action plan for the AFL.

Talent Pathway Wellbeing Coordinators
Our NAB League and Talent Pathway Wellbeing Coordinators work on the ground in the NAB League regions and Academy programs to build the mental fitness of our talent pathway players. Their work involves individual athlete support, group work, leadership and advocacy to promote protective factors within the Clubs to ensure our talented players are developing in a mentally fit and capable sporting environment. Their work contributes to the holistic development of young athletes, providing them with opportunities to fulfil their potential and build skills to help them navigate the challenges and opportunities in life presented both in football and beyond. 

  • Emily Shears - Vic Country Wellbeing Lead and Geelong Falcons
  • Marty Ryan - Bendigo Pioneers
  • Adele White - Dandenong Stingrays
  • David Hobbs - Gippsland Power
  • Sarah Godfrey - GWV Rebels
  • Nick Buscombe - GWV Rebels
  • Sarah Osborne - Murray Bushrangers
  • Heath Black - Vic Metro Wellbeing Lead and Oakleigh Chargers
  • Ann Steel - Calder Cannons
  • Todd Mahoney - Eastern Ranges
  • Natascha Newton - Northern Knights
  • Michael Harper - Sandringham Dragons
  • Jack Rhodes - Western Jets
  • Emilie Burgess - Tasmania Devils
  • Genevieve DuBois - Northern Territory Thunder
  • Courtney Ugle - Diversity Programs

The Industry Mental Health and Wellbeing Steering Committee

The purpose of the Steering Committee is to: develop the AFL Industry Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the actions that deliver the strategy;
review, assess and provide objective, independent and timely feedback in relation to the Industry Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and action plans;
support the implementation of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team’s activities.

Steering Committee Members

Professor Helen Milroy (Chair), MBBS FRANZCP CATCAP
AFL Commissioner 
Winthrop Professor, University of Western Australia
Stan Perron, Chair of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Perth Children’s Hospital and University of Western Australia, 
Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission 
Board Member of Beyond Blue

Mr Grant McCabe
Board Member Geelong FC
MBA, MD Boston Consulting Group

Professor Patrick McGorry, AO, Phd, FRCP FRANZCP, FAA, FASSA, FAHMS
Executive Director Orygen Youth Health, Professor of Youth Mental Health University of Melbourne, Director of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation

Mr Paul Marsh
CEO, AFL Players Association

Prof Tracy Smart, AO, Air Vice-Marshal (ret)
Professor, Military and Aerospace Medicine, Australian National University

Dr Erin Hoare, BPsych MPH, PhD
Past AFLW Player, NHMRC Fellow

Dr Barry Rigby, MB BS, FACEM
President, AFL Doctors Association
Current Club Doctor, Gold Coast FC

GM Football Operations, AFL

Mr Ed Barlow, BESS, GradDip Psych, MPsych
Past Player, Psychologist

Mr Brodie Grundy, BESS 
Current AFL Player, Collingwood FC

Ms Alicia Eva, BA, GradDip Psych
Current AFLW Player, GWS

Mr Leigh Fisher BCom, GradDipEd
Current AFL Umpire

Mr Shane McInerney BASc (App Chem)
Past AFL Umpire

Ms Peggy O’Neal, AO
President Richmond FC,
Consultant Lander and Rogers

Mr Michael Mitchell
Past AFL Player
Program Manager, Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service Metropolitan, WA
Mental Health Team

AFL Mental Health and Wellbeing Team Members

Dr Kate Hall, MAPS FCCLP
Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing, AFL

Dr Ranjit Menon, FRANZCP
Chief Psychiatrist, AFL

Zaita Anderson
Strategy Lead, AFL

Advisors

Mr Jason Trethowan
CEO headspace, Youth Mental Health advisor