Norths Juniors Rugby League Club in Brisbane has become the first NRL State of Mind-recognised club in Queensland after completing the six-step recognition process.

Queensland Health is providing $940,500 to the NRL over three years, beginning 2016, to implement its State of Mind Grassroots Program throughout Queensland.

The program aims to create positive discussion and connection in the communities where the NRL operates, and stimulate help-seeking behaviours.

Member for Sandgate Stirling Hinchliffe, acting as Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick’s representative, presented the Norths Juniors Rugby League President Peter Fraser with a recognition plaque in celebration of their achievement.  

“The State of Mind Grassroots Program is helping to reduce the stigma around mental health in rugby league communities,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Norths Juniors Rugby League club has completed the six-point plan as part of the program and has seen some great results within its community.

 “Since the program began in 2016, the NRL has seen a 72 per cent reduction in perceived stigma towards mental illness and suicide.”

NRL Community Health Manager Jessica Macartney said the State of Mind program had had a significant impact on the lives of many, and congratulated Norths Juniors on embracing and supporting the aim of promoting positive mental wellbeing.

“Since the program commenced, we’ve received tremendous support and feedback, from players to mental-health partners and local clubs and communities,” Ms Macartney said.

“Rugby league has a large voice within society and a responsibility to use its voice to better one another.

“It is wonderful to see Norths Juniors get so much out of this program and I thank the Queensland Government for their significant backing, which is helping us visit hundreds of junior rugby league clubs throughout the state to offer the program and support.”

Mr Fraser said that the club was proud to be the first junior club in Queensland to complete the program.

“This is a fantastic achievement for all concerned with our club and it reinforces the fact that Norths Juniors will continue to provide a supportive environment for our community,” he said.