“My Mental Health Journey” Nathan’s experience with depression and how he worked through it. Nathan has been working with Beyond Blue as an Ambassador for several years and he speaks to people throughout Australia about his personal experience and his journey to recovery.
- AFL and AFLW Speakers
- After Dinner Speakers
- Goal Setting Speakers
- Inspirational Speakers
- Mental Health and Overcoming Depression Speakers
- Motivational Speakers
- Sports Speakers
Testimonials for Nathan Thompson
Fee Range: Up to $5000
Nathan Thompson's Biography
Former AFL player Nathan Thompson played 119 games for the Hawthorn Football Club from 1998 to 2004, and 60 games for the North Melbourne Football Club from 2005 to 2008.
Nathan was one of the biggest off-season signings at the end of the 2004 season and to the Kangaroos delight he made his way to Arden St, after 7 seasons with Hawthorn. Drafted by Hawthorn with pick 82 in the 1997 National Draft, Nathan immediately made an impact with the Hawks as a strong marking key forward, who was also more than capable playing up the ground in the ruck.
However, 2004 was a low point for Nathan who revealed he was battling depression. In an attempt to revitalize his career he nominated to be traded by the Hawks and ever since has made a valuable and much needed contribution as a key position forward for the Kangaroos, leading the goal kicking for the club in both seasons 2005 & 2006. His consistent goal kicking form in 2006 and a season best haul of 8 goals against his former side the Hawks, was rewarded with an equal second in the clubs Best and Fairest count.
An unfortunate season ending knee injury in the 2007 pre-season saw him sidelined for the year, which no doubt created a big void in the Kangaroos forward setup. Nevertheless, Nathan’s determination and positive attitude has seen him come back in 2008 stronger and better than ever providing the Kangaroos senior line up with valuable leadership in the forward line.
A tall marking forward, Nathan Thompson became a key player in the team kicking 192 goals. His goal kicking ability continued with 135 goals at the Kangaroos in his four seasons with the club. Nathan was the leading goal kicker for the ‘Roos in 2005.
Nathan officially announced his retirement from the Kangaroos and the AFL on 19 September 2008.
Nathan was diagnosed with clinical depression. One of the most important things Nathan learnt in his road to recovery is the necessity of taking control of his own health.
“Sometimes we wait and hope that someone is just going to fix us. But it’s a journey and you are the one that has to take the first step.’
Nathan saw a psychologist and psychiatrist and now he understands a lot more about his own makeup. Because he understands it better, he can cope better.
“I certainly know when I am struggling and I can start putting things into place a lot quicker to stop me from letting my health slip.”
“When Nathan left football in 2007, he had time to reflect on those five years of being depressed, had a good look at himself and think about how he wanted to take care of his health and set some long-term goals. He really worked on being healthy and confident.
Nathan has been working with Beyond Blue as an Ambassador for several years and he speaks to people throughout Australia about his personal experience and his journey to recovery, to help eradicate the stigma and encourage people to look after their mental health – because it’s just as important as physical health.
“It’s important we understand that depression is really common – there are so many people who are struggling with the same problems. If we create awareness about depression and get rid of this stigma, then it will become OK for more people to talk about it and then more people will talk earlier, seek help earlier and hopefully not reach the point where they break down.”
“If something isn't right, find out what’s going on. Be proactive with yourself and go and see a doctor or talk to someone you trust. I never did – and my health and my life were dangling on a knife’s edge.”
“Depression is an illness, but it’s one that you can get help for – and recover from.”
“If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to admit it. Sometimes you have to put up your hand and say I need help.”
Speaking Topics Include
“My Mental Health Journey” Nathan’s experience with depression and how he worked through it.