Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.
Those are words used by 2018 Commonwealth Games basketball gold medalist Jenna O'Hea.
The Australian Opals women’s captain will lead 21 athletes from 13 sports in the inaugural Lifeline Community Custodians, a program with the Australian Insitute of Sports (AIS) that will see athletes become advocates for mental health.
The program was designed by the AIS and Lifeline Australia to reduce the stigma around mental health and encourage people to reach out and get help when they need it.
For O'Hea, the initiative is one that is close to her heart after her 46-year-old uncle died by suicide in late 2018.
"Last December my uncle took his life after that happened I did a lot of research into the suicide statistics in Australia," she said.
"I was really surprised by how high they were and I realised that if I didn't know the statistics, there's probably a lot of other Australians who don't as well."
That's when the 31-year-old initiated the WNBL Lifeline Round.
I am beyond grateful for everyone’s love, support and action this weekend in the inaugural #lifelineround in the @thewnbl. Yesterday we raised $14,600 to @lifelineaustralia after we as a league made 73 three point shots 👌🏼👌🏼 I am speechless!! I want to thank each and every team and player who got behind the cause and were splashing the triples this weekend. A special shoutout and thank you to @sallphillips for all the hard work you put in to make this round what it was. To all my family and friends who came to the game yesterday, having you in the crowd meant everything to me. Finally thank you to the entire @thewnbl community. Players, teams, staff, supporters and fans for spreading the much needed awareness of mental health and suicide prevention. I know my uncle would be looking down proud as punch as to what was created this weekend😊😊. Remember, it’s ok not to be ok. @lifelineaustralia are available 24/7 and you can call them on 13 11 14 for whatever your needs may be. Sending love, light and happiness to anyone still reading ;) #lifelineround 📸 @mcp_pix
At first, it was just her WNBL team, Melbourne Boomers, that would donate for every three-pointed they made but the Clubs general manager Justin Nelson suggested they go to the league.
It then led to every team donating $100 for every three-pointer made and the WNBL matched it.
They ended up donating over $14,600 to LifeLine Australia.
"From there, I was approached to be a part of this program and I was just thrilled to continue to spread awareness about mental health and suicide prevention and just to help as many people in the community as we can," O'Hea said.
Lifeline Australia receives over one million contacts each year via mediums such as telephone, web, and face-to-face with 10,000 volunteers trained to help.