Sports psychologist Dr Stewart Vella from the Early Start Research Institute has found sport plays a huge part in mental health

TOP SPORT: Dr Stewart Vella found kids who drop out of organised sport increased their risk for mental health problems by up to 20 per cent. Picture: Supplied

TOP SPORT: Dr Stewart Vella found kids who drop out of organised sport increased their risk for mental health problems by up to 20 per cent. Picture: Supplied

A sports psychologist is out to improve the mental health of young men, one footy at a time. Dr Stewart Vella from the Early Start Research Institute will be talking about his research surrounding how playing sport can improve young people’s well-being at Wednesday evening’s ‘Uni in the Brewery’ series at The Illawarra Brewery in Wollongong.

Dr Vella’s research sponsored by the Movember Foundation is looking to work with local sporting clubs after discovering kids who dropped out of organised sports increased their risk of mental health problems by up to 20 per cent.

“Our research doesn’t just sit in the academic ivory tower, its something that can be used and understood and used by everybody,” he said

He hoped by presenting at the University of Wollongong series people would understand how important getting help early on was for issues like anxiety and depression.

Uni in The Brewery: Mental Health and Sport is a free event Wednesday 5:30-6:30pm – The Illawarra Brewery (Eastern Terrace, WIN Entertainment Stadium).

Presenting will be Dr Stewart Vella and his colleague Dr Andrea Fogarty from the Black Dog Institute.

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