Black by Heath Black book lauch
Retired AFL-footballer Heath Black reveals his struggles with his mental health, anger issues and alcohol abuse throughout his 12-year professional career, and his subsequent battle to overcome these demons, in his memoir Black.
Black is scheduled to be released on April 14 at the Fremantle Dockers versus Brisbane Lions game at Patersons Stadium in Subiaco.
Originally from Victoria, Heath started with the Dockers as a 17-year-old in 1997, moving to St Kilda for several years before finishing his career with Fremantle in late 2008. Heath was well known in football circles for his left foot and agility on the field and perceived by the public as a bit of a bruiser and larrikin that couldn’t seem to resist a good brawl.
After leaving professional football and spiralling out of control, Heath realised the full extent of his mental health issues in 2010 following the failure of his marriage, lost job opportunities, several arrests and a growing dependence on alcohol. After a series of misdiagnoses, he was finally diagnosed with both Bipolar II and Adult ADHD in 2011.
Heath has spent the last year getting his life back on track, coaching the Harvey Brunswick Leschenault Lions to Grand Final victory last year and returning to the world of professional football as the Playing Assistant Coach of the Vermont Football Club in the Eastern Footy League in 2012.
Heath is releasing Black to use his profile and experience to try and help other men who may suffer from Bipolar II, Adult ADHD or other related mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, isolation and alcoholism.
“These conditions are more common than most people would expect and are often kept behind closed doors which is one of the reasons I have decided to tell my story,” Heath said. “Although football provides the setting, the book goes well beyond the world of football and delves into my personal issues and how I have struggled with, and beaten in some cases, my own demons.”
“I hope footy fans enjoy the book, but I’ve really written it for men of all ages who are doing it tough, maybe struggling with alcohol abuse, anger or depression or maybe just not coping with life and all the challenges it keeps throwing in their direction,” he said.
“I have two young sons, so I’ve also written it for parents whose kids dream of playing professional sports.”
The book also gives a raw insight of living with a Bipolar II partner, through the perspective of Black’s wife Asha.
Heath has worked with author Lisa Holland-McNair over the past three years to produce Black. It will be released by Agenda Publishing and be available in selected bookstores as well as online at www.heathblack.com.au .