Cricket Victoria restructured mental health model

Cricket Victoria restructured its mental health procedures earlier this year, decentralising its model so that players are referred to a range of external experts rather than a single in-house sport psychologist.

Victorian cricket sources confirmed to The Age on Friday that performance psychologist Tony Glynn – who had been working four days a week on staff at CV – moved in July to a consultancy role with some senior and pathway players.

Will Pucovski.Credit:Getty

When Glynn – who has also worked with netball’s Melbourne Vixens and Tennis Australia – was working on staff at CV he was available for players to speak to about their issues when they wanted.

CV decided mid-year to change course. Under the new structure, players talk to CV doctor Trefor James as a first point of call when dealing with a mental health concern. Dr James then refers players as applicable to a broader network of mental health professionals, who in effect act as consultants. Glynn has continued to be involved with CV as one of these consultants.

The new structure allows players to talk with mental health professionals away from CV, keeping discussions at arm’s length from the organisation.

The changes emerged the day after Cricket Australia announced on Thursday that star Victorian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell had taken indefinite leave from the game.

Maxwell became the second high-profile Victorian player in 12 months to step away from the game because of mental health issues. Batting young gun Will Pucovski took leave from cricket for two separate periods last season, the second of which came as he returned to Melbourne after being on the road with the Australian Test team.

As a CA-contracted player, Maxwell has had access to Australian men's team psychologist Michael Lloyd.

Maxwell has spent much of the year on the road because of commitments with the Australian white-ball teams, English county Lancashire and Victoria.

In an interview with The Age last December, Maxwell urged the public to treat players better.

“It’s easy to overlook on the outside, because all [the fans and media] see is players going out there and play in front of the big crowds, thinking how good a life they must have," he said at the time.

“The public [need] to be a bit more patient, and potentially a bit more forgiving on certain players.

“In a world with social media, and complete unfiltered access to players, it can be quite daunting, and hard to deal with. I know it’s a player’s choice to be on social media, but sometimes it’s just hard to ignore.

“I’ve copped my fair share of bakes, I’m pretty used to it. I’m OK. But I worry for the younger players coming in. Social media is a pretty dangerous world. It’s pretty scary how ruthless people can be.”

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