Perth Lynx star Maddie Allen withdraws from Queensland WNBL hub amid mental health concerns
Perth Lynx star Maddie Allen has withdrawn from the upcoming WNBL season following the league’s decision to play in a Queensland hub amid serious concerns for her mental health.
Allen loomed as a key part of Perth’s campaign but has publicly fought a battle with mental health after being diagnosed with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as a teenager.
Allen, 27, survived a suicide attempt while attending a US college, requires daily medication and often sees a psychiatrist.
She received medical advice that the combination of entering a hub next month and later returning to Perth to quarantine was too big a risk.
“It’s an ongoing thing for me,” Allen told The West Australian.
“A lot of people have a mental health safety plan in place to guard against things.
“I tried to put one together for the hub but we just couldn’t come up with the right one.
“The hub is concerning for me because I would be away from my support network.
“It would also be an environment that wouldn’t provide for a work/life balance.
“And then the quarantine became the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“I compare it to like having a knee injury and not having a physio available to help you. I don’t think people would go in that situation either.”
Allen has enjoyed a stunning rise in the past 18 months. She stepped into the starting centre position last season and was then named Perth’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Those efforts followed her winning the SBL Grand Final MVP award in 2019.
Allen began working for a Recruitment company on Monday but said no decision had been made on her basketball future beyond this season.
The Lynx were aware of Allen’s hub concerns for several months and had planning for if she was unavailable.
“The club was very understanding to my situation. They’ve been so supportive and we’ve had a lot of meetings and a lot of coffees,” Allen said.
“I absolutely wanted to play. We’ve got a new coach, a great team and so many lovely people.
“I was excited about playing alongside so many Opals and this is a team I do not want to let down.
“But I think I’m at a stage now where I understand myself more.
“I don’t see it as any different to veteran players who understand their bodies and what they need to do to get on court every week.”
If you or anyone you know is going through a difficult time, please contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
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