The NRL today announced a three year partnership with some of Australia's leading mental health organisations as part its State of Mind campaign, which aims to reduce stigma around mental illness and encourage people to seek help by improving mental health literacy.
of Mind will be launched as part of this year's State of Origin series,
but, more importantly, will become a central theme of the work the Game
does in and around the community.
As the country's biggest health
issue, one in two Australians will experience a mental illness in their
lifetime. Suicide is the largest killer of individuals aged 15-44.
NRL has formed a coalition with Lifeline Australia, headspace, Kids
Helpline and the Black Dog Institute to continue to break the silence,
reduce stigma around mental illness and stimulate help seeking
behaviours by improving mental health literacy.
follows last week's appointment of the first Game-wide State of Mind
Ambassadors. The 14 self-nominated Ambassadors were chosen following
consultation with club career coaches to help increase mental health
literacy in clubs and the communities in which they operate.
The State of Mind television campaign launched on Channel 9's The Footy Show on
Thursday night features State of Origin rivals Cameron Smith and Robbie
Farah. They are encouraging the broader community and beyond to 'break
the silence' by staring a conversation, even in tense situations.
NRL Head of Community Adam Check said deploying the insight and
resources that these expert mental health agencies have, and using the
NRLs voice to amplify that message, can and will have a profound and
positive impact on mental wellbeing.
"And in using our voice
effectively, we aim to not only create awareness but to stimulate
behavioural change by improving mental health literacy, increasing help
seeking behaviours and reducing stigma in relation to mental health," he
"Rugby League is more than a game. It is the country's
largest sporting community and one which can act as a catalyst to social
change around big community issues."
Lifeline Australia Chairman
John Brogden said: "Silence and stigma are, without question, massive
barriers that prevent individuals from recognising and taking action on
mental health or reaching out for help when we're struggling.
partnership with the NRL, its clubs and players, along with our
colleagues is the start of a constant conversation about how we can all
play a part in overcoming these barriers and supporting a mentally