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HOW WE STARTED

OUR STORY

Welcome to GW Connect! 

GW Connect is a concept which was born out of a series of tragic events which struck Gridiron West that really highlighted the hidden struggle that many people were going through. 

GW Connect is designed to be a safe space where people who are suffering with mental health issues, whatever they may be can connect with peers and friends through our sporting network and seek advice, support, guidance, referral to professional agencies or simply a sympathetic ear when one is needed. The connection can be formal or anonymous through our network or you can simply follow the links on this website to help guide you to find the support that’s right for you. 

Mental health rightly does not carry the stigma of years past any longer. 1 in 5 people in Australia will find themselves facing a mental health event at some stage in their lives with many facing it in silence. Members of the LGBTQI+ communities and Fly in Fly Out workers are statistically at even higher risk of suffering a mental health event. 

So what is GW Connect? GW Connect is a group of trained mental health first aiders from across the Gridiron West Community. We are not trained mental health professionals, but are all qualified in mental health first aid and in the majority of cases have first hand experience of dealing with mental health events, either ourselves directly or through our family, friends or work. Ultimately we are here to help in any way we can. GW Connect is designed to work as a peer support network for those who want to reach out but maybe don’t know where to start. On the site you can find resources from support organisations and links to useful tools, as well as the names and dedicated email addresses of the GW Connect network should you wish to reach out. 

GW Connect is open to anyone from any community, sporting code, religion, race, sexuality- anyone! If you feel more comfortable speaking to someone who you feel will relate to you, be that male, female, LGBTQI+, religious or not, please browse the bios and reach out to the person who you feel most comfortable with. As the project grows we hope to expand our network to ensure we are as representative as possible. 

The key message of GW Connect is- you are never alone. If you feel the need to reach out we are here to offer support and advice where it’s needed, but we don’t want anyone to suffer in silence. We hear you. We understand you. We want to help. 

If you are in immediate crisis please do call 000 or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

We hope you never need us, but if you do we hope you feel comfortable reaching out. 

Ben Giff 

Gridiron West Chairperson