Adelaide Crows Foundation

Crows Foundation partnership to tackle mental health

The partnership between The Sebastian Foundation and the Crows’ charity arm will positively impact 16,000 students.

Thousands of students will benefit from a leading wellbeing program, aimed at improving child and youth mental health, thanks to the Adelaide Crows Foundation and one of Australia’s most talented and best-known musicians.

The partnership between The Sebastian Foundation – the charity of Guy Sebastian and his wife Jules – and the Crows’ charity arm will positively impact the lives of 16,000 students at 32 schools across South Australia this year.

The two charities will subsidise the Open Parachute program which teaches practical mental health skills and Crows players will attend classrooms to share their own personal experiences with overcoming challenges and building resilience.

Founded by clinical psychologist Dr Hayley Watson, Open Parachute takes a preventative approach to mental health and uses peer-to-peer methods to help educate children and youth about coping mechanisms pertinent to the challenges of growing up, such as bullying, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and social media, among others.

It provides curriculum-aligned student lessons based on documentary videos that showcase Australian youth sharing their own experiences of overcoming struggles.

Sebastian, who is an official Crows Ambassador, returned home to Adelaide to launch the charity partnership on Monday night where he shared his passion for supporting the mental health of all young Australians

“We started The Sebastian Foundation almost a decade ago and right from the start we really wanted to make an impact in the mental health area and specifically in youth mental health as we’ve had that come up in our lives, both Jules and myself, through our family and close connections,” Guy said.

“We’ve both lost people to mental health so we are passionate about early intervention and trying to equip kids with the skills to conquer and face all the things life throws at them.

“It was our dream to develop a program with clinical psychologists for kids so when we met Dr Hayley Watson and heard about this amazing program she was implementing in schools we immediately wanted to get involved.

“We believe the best gift that we can give our kids is a mental coat of armour to prepare them for whatever life throws at them, so we want to see this program in as many schools as possible. Our dream is to get a whole lot more kids mentally fit for life.”

Open Parachute founder Dr Hayley Watson said the program was currently being used by approximately 300,000 students across the US, Canada and Australia but this partnership was the first integration with a sporting organisation.

“We’re so excited about the partnership because we can see how connected the Crows are with the community so we really see this as a template which could work in so many other places across the world with the Crows leading the way,” Dr Watson said.

“The added element of having professional athletes going into schools and speaking vulnerably about their story and why they feel passionate about mental health will help more teachers and students see the value in it and see that it is a heroic journey.

“I’m really passionate about supporting young people in building mental health skills and finding unique and relatable ways to be able to teach students.

“The program is vital as every single student will struggle at some point in their life – if they’re not struggling already. Most don’t reach out for help because of the stigma, and so what we’re trying to do is ensure every single student can access this training and develop this skillset so they can thrive when they do face challenges.”

Crows CEO Tim Silvers said the Club wanted to be known for much more than winning football games, and positively impacting the lives of local children and youth was of utmost importance.

“We strongly believe in using our platform and resources, and in particular our charity arm the Adelaide Crows Foundation, to help address the social and health issues facing the next generation,” Silvers said.

“It’s a well-documented fact that having an opportunity to engage with a sporting hero can inspire young people and make a real difference in their lives, as they strive to find purpose and fulfil their dreams.

“With The Sebastian Foundation, we have found a like-minded charity and by joining forces we will be able to make a significant contribution to the community and enrich the lives of many.”

Adelaide Crows Foundation partner Variety – the Children’s Charity is also supporting the partnership, funding 2,000 students to access Open Parachute

For more information about Open Parachute: Open Parachute Mental Health Program – Adelaide Crows Foundation

For more information about the Adelaide Crows Foundation: Home – Adelaide Crows Foundation

For more information about The Sebastian Foundation: Sebastian Foundation (