beyondblue and Invictus Games Sydney 2018 team up for mental health

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beyondblue and Invictus Games Sydney 2018 have announced they will work together to highlight the positive impact that sport, physical exercise and participation can have on mental health and wellbeing.

Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is the first time the Games will be held in Australia, and more than 500 former and current military personnel from 18 countries are in training for the October event in Sydney.

Every Invictus Games competitor has been wounded, injured or become ill in the line of duty, and is now representing their country through sport. Sport has played a vital role in the physical health and recovery of all these competitors, but it has also helped them maintain their mental wellbeing.

While mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression are as common among defence personnel as the broader community, exposure to violent or traumatic events places them at greater risk.

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said the Invictus Games were a fantastic example of how sport and exercise could help people regain confidence, a sense of stability and control by setting and achieving personal goals.

“Sport and physical exercise are always great for the body, but setting your mind to beating your previous personal best or reaching that next level of competition can give people something to strive for and a real sense of purpose,” Ms Harman said. “Sport is also a wonderful way to connect with others and to make friends which has an enormous positive impact on our mental health.

“beyondblue is thrilled to be working together with Invictus Games Sydney 2018,” she added. “What a fantastic opportunity to get people talking about mental health and to highlight the importance of wellbeing, especially for those in the defence community.”

beyondblue is encouraging individuals, clubs and sports groups across Australia to get on board the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 ‘Make Your Mark Down Under’ campaign. Making your mark could be as simple as going for a ‘Walk and Talk’ with your friends and discussing mental health while showing support for the defence community.

Invictus Games Sydney 2018 CEO Patrick Kidd OBE welcomes the significant support working with beyondblue can offer and hopes the #MakeYourMarkDownUnder campaign will ignite interest among the beyondblue community nationwide. “Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is an incredible opportunity for Australia,” he said.

“At the Games we will witness some incredible stories showcasing the ability to overcome adversity. No matter where you are or what you do, there is a role for you in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

“This is a moment in time for us to come together as a nation, to be inspired by these incredible stories of resilience and actively demonstrate support for our defence community,” Kidd added. “Working together with beyondblue provides a significant platform for us to get people active and connected, supporting their physical and mental wellbeing while actively ‘making their mark’ to support our defence community.

“We are grateful for beyondblue’s support and look forward to working together in the lead up to the Games in October.”