Western Bulldogs utility Lin Jong will take a short break from playing football while he manages his mental health.
Lin will remain in the Bulldogs’ training program, without playing competitively during the next undetermined period of time.
“I felt it was important to be honest about how I have been feeling recently, and the Club has been an amazing support for me, along with my family and friends,” Jong said.
“The Club allowed me to spend a bit of time away from training, but I wanted to be around my team-mates and the football staff, so we decided I would continue to be part of the program without playing games for the time being.
“The environment at the Bulldogs allows players to be themselves and communicate openly, so I felt comfortable about speaking up.”
Jong has endured a torrid run with injuries over the last few seasons, which has robbed him of on-field continuity, including two broken collarbones, a fractured jaw and an ACL injury. This year alone he has dealt with a torn hamstring and a ruptured appendix.
“We applaud Lin for feeling brave and comfortable enough to speak up about managing his mental health. We have created a culture at the Bulldogs which encourages our players to confront any issues they might be dealing with, instead of suffering in silence,” said Bulldogs Director of Football, Chris Grant.
“Our duty is to ensure the health of our players is our priority, and Lin will be given the time and care he needs to work through this period. We are pleased that he wants to remain in our program and continue training.”
“Clearly, improving the impact of mental health amongst players is a responsibility the whole football industry shares. It’s encouraging to see players from many clubs having the courage to publicly address the issue so we can all continue to best support our players.”