EARLIER this year 23-year-old Chris Rothnie took his life own life by suicide and his action has forever changed his beloved Orange Tiger AFL club.
"Chris was just a knockabout guy who was always there to volunteer at the footy club", Tigers' president Andrew Nelson said.
In the time since Chris and his brother Michael joined Orange Tigers AFL club, they won three first grade premierships together.
Not long before his death, Chris decided he no longer wanted to play and told Mr Nelson that he was "getting some help and seeing a psychologist".
Changes in behaviour can be a sign that someone is not coping, Mr Nelson said of the lessons he and his team have learnt since recently taking part the Outside the Locker Room program.
"It's a terrific resource ... it's definitely changed the way we view everything," he said.
"It's changed the way we act to other people and also the way we show support.
You've got to think about the way you talk to people ... the things you say can actually have an effect.Tigers' president Andrew Nelson
"It taught us ways to look out for each other and to support each other and to make sure to follow up.
"You've got to think about the way you talk to people ... the things you say can actually have an effect."
Mr Nelson suffered from depression in 2013 and said back then the attitude was 'see a doctor, take some pills for six months and you'll be right'.
"It's the 'you'll be right' mentality," he said was a significant problem.
"Back then you wouldn't talk about it because you're [seen as] weak or a failure."
These days Mr Nelson said while there was still stigma surrounding mental health, he was thankful there was more support available.
Mr Nelson encouraged other sporting clubs to look out for their members, not just during the season but year round.
"During the off season you mightn't see them for three or four months so keep connected, even if it's to catch up for a beer or a coffee," he said.
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
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