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Lin Jong to take a break to deal with mental health issues

Sporting News logo Sporting News 13/06/2019
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Western Bulldogs utility Lin Jong will step away from the game to take a short break while he manages his mental health.

Jong will continue to train with the team, however he will not play competitively for an indefinite period.

“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 managed 61 games in his career since being drafted in 2012 rookie draft, though injury has kept him to 12 and 10 matches in the past two seasons respectively.

He has endured two broken collarbones, a fractured jaw and an ACL injury in the past, while having to deal with a torn hamstring and ruptured appendix this year which has seen him sidelined for the first half of the season.

“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,” Bulldogs Director of Football Chris Grant said.

“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.”

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