Dan Hunt. Ambassador for Illawarra’s Top Model and Highlights on Mental Health

We are proud and honoured to have Dan Hunt as an Ambassador this year.
Dan is well-known in the Illawarra for his talent as a major star footballer but he is also a local hero for more than that…his support for Mental Health.

We here at ITM and Highlights on Mental Health, are working hard presenting as our main Fundraiser, Illawarra’s Top Model
All funds raised by the entrants and their supporters, the sponsors, donations and through buying tickets to our Ball, Fashion Spectacular and Raffle Tickets, will be used to support this worthy cause.(go to Buy Tickets on our front website page)

Read what Dan has to say about Mental Health and his personal experience and struggle:

‘In 2009 I was struggling with some issues in my personal and professional life, and then I think the turning point for me was when I missed the 2010 grand final because of an Achilles injury.’’

Fortunately it was around this time that representatives from the Black Dog Institute visited the club to present a seminar on mood disorders such as depression and bipolar.

Mr Hunt went home and took the online test on the institute’s website, the results of which led him to an appointment and subsequent diagnosis.

According to the Black Dog Institute, bipolar II is diagnosed when a person experiences mood swings, but no psychotic episodes.

‘‘It was a little confronting to get the diagnosis but it was also a relief as it helped me to understand why I was feeling the way I did,’’ Mr Hunt said.

‘‘I was able to speak to professionals and get some coping strategies to put in place and, while it’s been a long road, I now know how to deal with it better.’’

As a mental health ambassador for the Dragons, Mr Hunt now helps others – something he will continue to do as he furthers his studies in social work.

‘‘If I can use my profile as a footballer to shine a light on mental health, that’s great,’’ he said.

‘‘I know a lot of young kids and other players who have struggled with mental illness, so it’s something we all need to talk about because there’s help out there.’’

Alanna Roodenrys, spokeswoman for mental health service Neami National, said the theme of this year’s Mental Health Month was to ‘‘Be Younique’’.

‘‘We’re all unique, we all have different strengths,’’ she said.

The story Dan Hunt opens up about bipolar diagnosis first appeared on Illawarra Mercury (Alpha).