Will Pucovski has opened up on his mental health struggles. Picture: Getty Images
Will Pucovski has opened up on his mental health struggles. Picture: Getty Images

Pucovski’s tale shines bright light on mental health

Will Pucovski was unaware the torch he shone on mental health would help so many others as the Victorian prodigy declared he was "going pretty well" on the verge of the Test summer.

Pucovski, 21, traced his improvement back to engaging Richmond Football Club's mind coach Emma Murray 12 months ago, although he said his challenges were a long-term process.

"I'm going pretty well, I think," he said.

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"There's no real complaints; I've got good structures in place and I feel like I'm in a pretty good space.

"I'm glad I can help people, which is good.

"I didn't realise it would have that much of an effect, if I'm honest.

Will Pucovski has opened up on his mental health struggles. Picture: AAP Images
Will Pucovski has opened up on his mental health struggles. Picture: AAP Images

"I don't know if proud is the right word, but it's been really positive actually being able to help others, which is something I didn't really know would happen when I spoke about it originally."

Victorian teammates Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson are currently taking breaks from cricket to work on their mental health.

Pucovski took two separate breaks for mental health last summer.

In January he was named in Australia's Test squad for the series against Sri Lanka, but was released from the squad after missing selection for the first Test.

Pucovski, who is growing a blond moustache as part of Movember in support of men's health, said he was sceptical when his dad first raised the idea of meeting Murray at her Sandringham home.

"Dad said there's this woman who they've been raving about who's working at Richmond," Pucovski said.

Will Pucovski is in the mix to make his Test debut this summer. Picture: Getty Images
Will Pucovski is in the mix to make his Test debut this summer. Picture: Getty Images

"He was like, 'I just want you to go meet her.'

"I was sort of like, 'Oh, nah. I don't really feel like she'd be the type of person I want.'

"She came from more of a mindfulness perspective and I'd sort of never looked at mindfulness as something that I wanted to delve into too much.

"Dad said, 'We'll just go, get you to meet her,' and from there I was like, 'Geez, this is actually pretty sharp. This is probably something I want to look into.'

"She's really helped me along the way and given me the structures and stuff that I need to feel pretty comfortable within myself.

"She's probably given me stability and the ability to actually manage stress and anxiety … in certain situations, and given me peace that I can deal with things" he said.

"It's (mental health) not a day-by-day thing where all of a sudden you wake up and feel a million bucks.

"It's more learning how to accept when you're not feeling so good and being able to manage those days a bit better.

"I'm definitely better, but it's a long-term process.

"Mental health is never a 'you're well or you're not' - there's dips and curves and it sort of changes."