Basketball Queensland launches program in support of mental health and career direction

Basketball Queensland recently announced a pilot program, that's designed to better the lives of players, referees and coaches in the QLD basketball scene.

Spearheaded by Basketball Queensland's new Game Development GM, Warwick Cann, the program will reduce factors that lead to mental health issues, and increase career options for players, coaches and referees.

“Personal welfare is a key concern for Basketball Queensland and its members. This targeted welfare program is a very special initiative, and one we hope meets the needs of our coaches, referees, players – both young and older,” Warwick Cann shared.

Basketball Queensland aims to provide a range of services to its personnel, which includes:

  • Mental health first aid (MHFA) training for coaches

  • Educational seminars and wellbeing workshops to athletes and younger referees of the National and State Performance program, which includes various initiatives that include social media usage, mental health, anti-doping and personal branding

  • The development of a career action plan for older athletes, which will include specific goals, actions, and time frames

MHFA is outlined as being the initial support offered to a coach, referee or player who is developing a mental health problem, or is experiencing the worsening of an existing one. With appropriate MHFA training, coaches will be better equipped to help players and referees in times of need.

The Player Welfare program on the other hand, is targeted to help athletes identify career interests that exist outside of sport. It begins as a discussion about education, training or employment, and moves on the collaboration on a Player Career Plan, which allows the Player Welfare Officer to follow up with meetings to track the athlete's career plan progression.

Basketball Queensland's Player Welfare Officer, Jason Fiddes, has had extensive experience in this field, and has presented on a wide range of wellbeing topics to semi-professional and professional sporting organisations and corporate, including the National Rugby League, Brisbane Broncos and Queensland Academy of Sport, among other organisations.

“This is a very exciting time for Basketball Queensland and all of its members,” said Fiddes, who is also the architect of this welfare program. “We all need a hand at times, and that’s what we’re offering. Whether it is personal or professional, we want to help and see our members reach their full potential on and off the court. It’s an honor to be involved.”

Further details on this program's delivery is expected to be distributed to clubs and coaches through March and April.

Information via Basketball Queensland's press release.