New partnership targets mental health of Cockburn basketballers

Jake Edwards (CEO OTLR) & Tyrone Thwaites (CBA General Manager). Photo: Jon Hewson. d491471 communitypix.com.au.
Jake Edwards (CEO OTLR) & Tyrone Thwaites (CBA General Manager). Photo: Jon Hewson. d491471 communitypix.com.au.

COCKBURN basketballers will reap the benefits of mental health awareness and education through a new partnership between Outside the Locker Room (OTLR) and the Cockburn Basketball Association (CBA).

The welfare program is a first for WA basketball and will see OTLR work alongside the club’s senior State Basketball League (SBL) players and the teenagers participating in the WA Basketball League (WABL) through workshops and continuous support.

The OTLR app will also give senior players 24/7 access to support and experts in the areas of mental health, drugs, alcohol and domestic violence.

Former AFL player Jake Edwards, who founded the not-for-profit organisation, said OTLR was an awareness, education and outreach program aimed at helping adolescents and adults deal with critical community issues.

“The Outside the Locker Room program provides participants with strategies on how to combat social and mental health issues in a productive way and, most importantly, it educates young people on the resources and organisations available for them to access,” he said.

“At the conclusion of the program, participants, along with their parents, families and community members, have a greater understanding of symptoms, stress-points and adverse environments that can lead to mental illness or destructive behaviour.”

CBA general manager Tyrone Thwaites said the partnership was important to the club’s focus on player wellbeing.

“The welfare of our players, coaches, staff and volunteers is a massive priority, and with the success OTLR have had amongst the Aussie Rules community, we expect our partnership will spark a wave of awareness in the basketball community as well,” he said.

“With mental health currently at the forefront of the community’s mind, it is crucial the CBA has a program in place to ensure the well-being of the wonderful people that are committed to our club.

“This is a holistic club approach and the sooner we are able to educate our juniors on the important of mental health, the greater the impact for the Cougar family and the wider Cockburn community.”

Visit www.otlr.com.au for more information on the program.