The Kimba Mental Health and Wellbeing Group will start the year with a major mental-health awareness event at the weekend.
The 'Breaking Through the Barriers' dinner on Saturday, February 1, will feature a variety of local speakers and a visit from an AFL premiership player with a unique story.
Tom Boyd was drafted to the Greater Western Sydney Giants at pick one in 2013, before moving to the Western Bulldogs just one year into his career on a contract widely reported on for its length and high salary.
The nature of his trade to the Bulldogs made him a subject of significant public scrutiny throughout his career. In his second year with the Bulldogs, the young forward played an essential role in the club's shock 2016 finals campaign and grand final victory to much acclaim.
Less than three years later, the then 23-year-old announced his retirement from AFL in May 2019, citing mental health and a loss of love for the game as factors in his decision. Throughout the later years of his career and after his retirement, Boyd has spoken openly in the media about his experiences with anxiety and insomnia.
Boyd has been a key figure amid increased incidents of high-profile athletes speaking openly about their mental health.
Late last year, Boyd launched his business 'The Millenial Translator' and now speaks at events sharing his story of mental health challenges.
His candid exchanges promote awareness and shape attitudes around mental health.
The dinner, which includes a three course meal at the Kimba Gateway Hotel, will begin at 6.30. Local guest speakers will also share their stories at the event.
The program will be supported by a Primary Health Networks Empowering Our Communities grant.
Tickets are available via www.trybooking.com, Eileen's Cafe or the Kimba Mental Health and Wellbeing Group.