Dr. Stewart Vella is encouraging all of those at the University of Wollongang University to grow a moustache in the month of November to support mental health awareness. Dr. Vella recently received a two million dollar grant from the Movember Foundation to aid him in his current research project.
Dr. Vella is a sports psychology researcher at the University of Wollongang Early Start Research Institute.
His current project is one that may benefit millions of young people who deal with mental illness. Dr. Vella is researching how sport can reduce the cases of depression and suicides in adolescents. This is extremely beneficial considering that 14 % of adolescents in Australia with the majority of those cases being male patients.
“Our aim with this study is to reduce the suicide rate among adolescent males, provide strong social and community networks, and reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems,” Dr Vella told healthcanal.com.
“It is a worrying statistic and the cost of this alone to the Australian Government is more than $10 million each year, not to mention the emotional costs on Australian families.”
Dr. Vella will be working closely with the Australian Sports Commission, the AFL, Cricket Australia, Australian Tennis and Swimming Australia.
This issue is in the forefront o the minds of all Australian swimming fans who have watched both Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett battle their own personal demons.
Dr. Vella will provide those within each of the sporting organizations tools that coaches and trainers can use help athletes deal with the challenges that come with mental illness.