NRL State of Mind ambassadors Darius Boyd, Dane Gagai and Michael Morgan were joined by their Queensland Origin teammates to announce close to $1 million of funding in Queensland for the NRL’s State of Mind program.
Now in its fourth year, the NRL State of Mind campaign has reached more than 10 million people across Australia and New Zealand, with the aim of helping to reduce the stigma around mental illness, stimulate help-seeking behaviours and increase mental health literacy amongst communities.
The funding was officially announced at a Queensland Parliamentary Friends of Rugby League luncheon on Wednesday, May 26, with the Queensland Origin team joining the Queensland Premier, Treasurer and members of the NRL and QRL in support of the fight against mental illness.
Ambassador Darius Boyd said the funding was vital to the ongoing ability to reach communities that were at risk and in need of support.
“I’ve experienced the effects of pressure and depression and with one in two people affected by mental illness at some point in their life we cannot sit by as a community and have people suffering and feeling like they are alone,” Mr Boyd said.
The Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick, said the funding would help reach regional and rural communities, where services were less available than in some built-up areas.
“What we’re trying to do as a Government is lift the stigma surrounding people talking about mental health,” Mr Dick said.
“Football clubs can reach a lot of people who would not otherwise be comfortable talking about mental health and there is a clear need to reach more people to talk about mental health.”
Funding will go directly towards a new grassroots program that provides resource packs, education and support programs, action plans and incentive programs for communities and individuals in need.
Grassroots education programs and support services will reach more than 220 local communities throughout Queensland over the next three years, helping to empower clubs to create mental-health friendly environments and communities.
In addition to the funding, the NRL unveiled a new State of Mind commercial (see above) featuring two young men who are in the age bracket that is most affected by suicide, 15 – 44 years of age. The commercial can be viewed here.
The NRL State of Mind program is supported by national mental health partners including Lifeline, The Black Dog Institute, Headspace and Kids Helpline, which all provide expert advice and guidance for the program
Pasifika mental health support group Le Va has also joined the NRL State of Mind program as an invaluable addition for Rugby League Pasifika communities.
For more information go to nrl.com/stateofmind
IMAGE DETAILS: Maroons Darius Boyd, left, Dane Gagai and Michael Morgan join NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick at the State of Mind funding announcement.