Ahead of the Game

Ahead of the Game uses sport to teach athletes, parents and coaches how to talk about mental health.

The program includes content on how to recognise mental health disorders, what to do and when to get help. Athletes learn how to build resilience and overcome challenges in sport and life. The program has undergone a large controlled trial and is currently being evaluated in a second, large randomised controlled trial. The program has been translated and scaled up across the globe, including as the official program of the Rugby League World Cup, 2021. 


Ahead of the Game

Australian first study uses sport to reduce depression and suicide rates in young men.

PARTNERS FOR RESEARCH IMPACT: Getting 'ahead of the game'



The Team

The project brings together researchers from across disciplines, government agencies and Australia’s top sporting organisations. Some of Australia’s top sporting organisations will work with the researchers to help implement the mental health initiative into their clubs across the nation, including the AFL, Basketball Australia, Cricket Australia, Swimming Australia, Football Federation Australia and Tennis Australia.

The project will also encompass the expertise of the Black Dog Institute, which focuses on the prevention and treatment of mood disorders; the Australian Sports Commission; and the Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports Program, which provides free support to sporting clubs to change their culture and reduce high risk drinking. 

This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing    Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals