AFL community mourns Shane Tuck, coroner’s report reveals mental health struggles

The passing of Shane Tuck in July 2020 left the AFL community in a state of shock and mourning. Upon hearing the news of the 38-year-old former AFL player’s death, questions were raised, sparking a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. The recent public release of Coroner John Cain’s investigation findings has provided insights into the factors that contributed to Tuck’s premature demise. As disclosed in the inquest, Tuck was grappling with serious mental health issues, including hearing voices and entertaining suicidal thoughts, which necessitated his stay in a psychiatric facility in the years leading up to his death.

The Australian newspaper reports that “Tuck had been hearing voices, had suicidal thoughts, and was forced to stay in a psychiatric ward in the years before his suicide in July 2020.” The AFL, in response to Coroner John Cain’s exhaustive findings, is reflecting on the implications of Tuck’s mental health struggles and acknowledges the seriousness of the situation. In a statement obtained by AFL.com.au, the AFL has reiterated its commitment to addressing mental health issues within the sport and providing the necessary support to its players. In order to ensure the welfare of all those involved in the sport, the AFL is committed to assisting players, working in collaboration with experts, and continually addressing mental health issues within the industry.

In light of the tragic loss of Shane Tuck, there have been calls for more substantial changes in how contact sports manage the mental health of their participants. Fox Sports reports that, following the inquest into Tuck’s death, the AFL has been advised to limit contact training sessions. The rationale behind this suggestion is that reducing the amount of physical contact players experience during training could potentially enhance their overall wellbeing. Despite the tragic circumstances of Shane Tuck’s death, there is hope that his story will not be forgotten. According to The Australian, Tuck’s legacy has the potential to effect positive change within the sports industry, particularly in terms of assisting athletes who are battling mental health issues.