Dr Stewart Vella


Mental Health Promotion through Sport: How, What, and Why? 

The promotion and protection of mental health in organised sports is an issue of increasing visibility and importance. This presentation will cover the big questions of how, what, and why mental health promotion through sport might be an effective approach to public health. Using the example of the Ahead of the Game program, Dr Vella will talk about the opportunities and challenges in developing, evaluating, translating, and scaling sport-based mental health programs around the world.  

About Stewart: Dr Stewart Vella is the Director of the Global Alliance for Mental Health and Sport at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is the most published scientist in the world on the topic of mental health and sport. He is also a Subject Matter Expert on mental health in sport with Movember. His work spans mental health programs, mental health guidelines, psychological safety, and mental fitness. Since 2015 he has led the design, development, evaluation, translation and scaling of the  “Ahead of the Game” program, including as the official program of the Rugby League World Cup 2021. He is currently developing mental health guidelines for community sports in Australia.