Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month at ALAND with Special Guest Shaun Lane

Sean Lane Stills-27 (1)

Professional sports stars often face intense scrutiny from fans, the media, and commentators, but their harshest critics are themselves. Self-doubt and depression are common among elite athletes. Despite the prevalence of psychological training, few NRL players openly discuss their mental challenges.

Parramatta Eels second-rower Shaun Lane bravely addresses mental illness in the new documentary, Out of My Lane.

Last year Shaun embarked on an intense journey of self-discovery exploring his own struggle with depression. He turned this into a documentary which will no doubt help to reduce the stigma around mental health in the rugby league community.

ALAND is proud to have sponsored the distribution of the documentary and were thrilled to welcome Shaun to our Strathfield offices for a special screening as part of Men’s Mental Health Month.

“At ALAND mental health is actively supported. We understand that by fostering a culture of openness and support, employees are empowered to prioritise their mental well-being without fear of stigma or judgment.” says ALAND founder Andrew Hrsto.

“As a construction company with a predominantly male team, we understand the need to talk about male mental health. We all know the very shocking statistics around male suicide in Australia, and open and honest conversations around mental health challenges are the first step in reducing these numbers.” Hrsto says.

Shaun’s journey follows a challenging season with a broken jaw, torn hamstring, and dislocated elbow.

“After a disappointing 2023 season, I was hungry to improve. I spoke to world-renowned sports psychologists and athletes, attended sporting events, and toured facilities to learn what it takes to gain the mental edge,” he explains.

The documentary also delves into Shaun’s personal struggles, including his father’s depressive episodes and his best friend Kurt Drysdale’s catastrophic spinal injury. Lane shares practical measures for mental health, like keeping an activity board of quotes, images, and personal targets.

“Happiness is not just a gift; it is something you need to earn,” he says.

Away from football, Shaun pursued his interest in mental health by completing a graduate diploma in psychology and a diploma in health sciences. Aware of his privileged life as a professional footballer, he aims to share his lessons with a wider audience.

“Life has peaks and valleys; it’s about preparing for the challenges ahead,” he notes.

Out of My Lane, explores some of Europe’s iconic destinations, such as Paris, Barcelona, and London, while addressing significant mental health issues. Shaun’s candid discussions about his experiences aim to provide valuable lessons for others.

Out of My Lane is streaming now on the Parramatta Eels website, YouTube channel, and 9Now.