The Toowoomba Rugby League have entered a formal partnership with youth-focused mental health service headspace in a pioneering move for a local league organisation.
The idea of the partnership is to promote mental health and wellbeing in the game thorough the region.
Having experienced the effect mental health issues can have on communities, TRL Chairman Brain Gilroy knew it was important to raise aware for the issue.
“Hopefully out of this initiative we can help some of the young men out there if they're struggling in any way to find a way through the hard times,” Gilroy said.
Headspace Toowoomba community and engagement officer Alaina Macdonald believes that young men can find it difficult to share their concerns with others when something goes wrong and was confident this partnership would help make a positive different.
With predominately males aged 12-25 making up the bulk of participants in the Toowoomba Rugby League; both organisations said helping raise awareness of the support available to them was important.
The rugby league community as a whole has felt the effect of mental health within the sport in recent times – but in a positive sign, the game has been actively promoting mental health wellbeing campaigns.
Coach of this year’s TRL premiership winners Pittsworth Ian Brackstone believes the partnership is a great opportunity to provide support for young league players.
“If you aren't doing well, or if you can see a mate is not doing really well or travelling too well, encourage them to come and see the guys here at headspace,” he said.
“It might be just a simple chat puts you in the right direction.”
All Toowoomba Rugby League clubs will have posters and pamphlets provided to them to help promote awareness of the support available.
TRL Operations Manager Jodie Teys was involved in the launch of this partnership that will also stretch into more regional areas including Warwick and Dalby.
“Awareness is a key factor for this partnership, to ensure that everyone knows of the support,” Teys said.
“Whether they were a player or supporter, the rugby league community is like a family and this partnership is to support everyone.”
Toowoomba Rugby League and headspace plan to continue this partnership in the years coming, to keep everyone aware of the support and assistance available.
*People seeking help for mental health issues can contact headspace on 1800 650 890 or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.