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McLachlan addresses Shaw’s situation and Clarkson's concern


AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan says mental health is “the biggest issue in our game” and stressed the importance of supporting coaches, players and staff members at all 18 clubs.

North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw is currently on personal leave after deciding to take time away from the game with Hawthorn counterpart Alastair Clarkson voicing his concerns about the stress coaches are under.

"I'm a bit concerned for our profession," Clarkson told Fox Footy.

"Any coach that does it particularly tough has to carry it in his public life more so than what a coach would have to do in a much bigger market like America or Europe.

"I'm concerned and I think the game should be concerned because it's an enormous burden to carry.”

McLachlan was asked on SEN’s Whateley whether he had reached out to Shaw and how the AFL is addressing the issue.

“I’ve reached out to the appropriate people I feel, yes,” he said.

“We are addressing it (mental health), we can always do better.

“We’ve made structural change, we did a large review last year, and Kate Hall is now the head of mental health.

"We’ve got a centralised model with decentralised execution so the clubs employ the best people to be looking after day-to-day the mental health of their staff, coaches and players.

“We’re putting more resourcing in … but it’s the biggest issue in our game and there’s various reasons for that, it’s a bigger, broader community issue.

“The uncertainty of tenure, the media scrutiny, social media, there is clearly a set of circumstances and an overlay that applies to our game and professional sports generally.

“Certainly in our game it’s a big challenge and the coaches are at the coalface of it.

“They (the coaches) need support. We have the structure in place, we’ve reviewed them, we keep investing and we’ve got to keep learning and keep getting better, because the issue is real.”

North Melbourne

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