GMHBA, Cats team up to improve youth mental health

February 27, 2024 BY

Western Heights College Principal Fiona Taylor (L-R), The Resilience Project CEO Ben Waterman, Geelong Cats AFLW player Georgie Prespakis, Geelong Cats player Mitch Duncan, Geelong Cats CEO Steve Hocking, and GMHBA CEO David Greig. Photo: SUPPLIED

FIVE Geelong schools are set to benefit from a partnership between GMHBA Health Insurance and the Geelong Football Club, aimed at tackling the mental health crisis among young people.

The collaboration will introduce The Resilience Project to nearly 2,000 students, providing them with tools to foster positive mental health and resilience.

The Resilience Project chief executive officer Ben Waterman said the program had a national impact and took an evidence-based approach to improving youth mental health.

“A preventative approach is the key to tackling Australia’s youth mental health crisis.

“The evidence-based, positive wellbeing strategies in our program are proven to build young people’s capacity to deal with adversity.

“We are so excited more students in the Geelong area will now have access to our program, and this has been made possible through our work with GMHBA and Geelong Football Club.”

The initiative will cover Newcomb Primary, Whittington Primary, Lara Primary, Geelong East Primary, and Western Heights Secondary, focusing on gratitude, empathy, mindfulness, and emotional literacy over two years.

The partnership between GMHBA Health Insurance and the Geelong Football Club is aimed at tackling the mental health crisis among young people. Photo: SUPPLIED


The Resilience Project provides mental health strategies through various platforms, promoting gratitude, empathy, mindfulness, and overall well-being in schools, sports clubs, and businesses.

Supported by GMHBA’s funding and the Cats’ community involvement, the program aims to make a significant difference in the mental well-being of Geelong’s young people.

GMHBA CEO David Greig highlighted the program’s success in boosting students’ confidence, self-esteem, and emotional expression.

“Investing in a program that directly impacts the mental health and wellbeing of school children is something GMHBA is proud to stand behind,” he said.

“One in four adolescents will experience mental health problems this year and nearly two thirds of them will not seek help, so supporting local efforts in this space responds to widespread community need.”

Geelong Football Club CEO Steve Hocking was enthusiastic about the partnership, noting the involvement of Cats players in delivering the program to foster a supportive environment for youth.

“We’re thrilled to see the next iteration of our Cats Community schools-based program take shape with The Resilience Project, with continued support from GMHBA in the school health program space,” he said.

“Geelong Cats players across both our men’s and women’s programs will be involved in delivering the program, helping to share important messages about mental health and wellbeing providing positive and nurturing environments for the young people in our region to thrive.”

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