In a welcome sign of the times; the issue of male depression continues to get more light shined upon it each day – helping to remove the stigma that has surrounded mental illness in the past.

Petero Civoniceva and Isaak Ah Mau support Turn to Me - watch the video above.

However, we all must do more to make sure those who need it feel comfortable reaching out to get help – including all of us who make up the rugby league family.

There is no denying that tragedy has struck this season, with the untimely passing of some of our most talented and much-loved players from within our game.

Each loss was a devastating shock that left families, friends and the wider football community reeling.

However, it has instilled a renewed resolve within the rugby league community to tackle an issue that unfortunately affects all society. We all must be willing not only to start a conversation about mental health in our game and help those in need turn to a coach, a player, a mate – we also must listen.

Turn to Me - Round 25

Listening is the central message the QRL are endorsing in this year’s annual Turn to Me round (Round 25, August 29-30) which is once again proudly supported by beyondblue.

The final competition round in 2015; it was decided that the last round of each season would be dedicated as the Turn to Me round as it would help to reinforce the message of mateship over the off season.

Blue skies, blue socks

To help promote the Turn to Me message; each Intrust Super Cup club have received T-shirts, wristbands and posters to distribute amongst their fans, while all Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge players will be joined by the referees in wearing blue socks. Blue represents a “clearing of skies after turbulent times” and symbolises the round’s support of beyondblue.

Throughout our game, more and more people are realising the importance of putting the mental health of our players first and there have been a number of programs designed and organisations engaged to help in this process.

State of Mind ambassadors

The NRL has recently appointed State of Mind ambassadors at each of their clubs; while the NRL Welfare unit also provide State of Mind presentations to all Intrust Super Cup club players.

Psychologists from Davidson Trahaire Corpsych are contracted by the Queensland NRL Welfare & Education department (Murray Hurst, David Solomona and Trish Drummond) to provide counselling when required, while this year all Intrust Super Cup coaches have also been put through a Mental Health First Aid course. There are now two Certificate holders of Mental Health First Aid qualification at each club.

At each club, the ‘Turn to Me’ concept is at the absolute forefront of the presentation.

Krys Freeman and Mark Gliddon from Norths Devils show their support for the Turn to Me round.

 

About beyondblue

Most Australians have some experience with anxiety and depression, whether it is personal or via family, friends or work colleagues. beyondblue’s work is aimed at achieving an Australian community that understands depression and anxiety, empowering all Australians, at any life-stage, to seek help. beyondblue raises awareness, reduces stigma and ensures people have access to the information they need to support recovery, management and resilience.    

beyondblue info line: 1300 22 4636  or infoline@beyondblue.org.au