It’s an exciting time for Support Squad as 130 more volunteers near the completion of their mental health first aid qualifications.
The final session at Ipswich will bring all of our latest intake to the same page, with those in our QRL Central region already doing a great job on the ground.
These also include a number of referees, including QRL’s own officiating high performance coach Andrew Wareham and community official Emma Maguire, which is great to see.
Our referees have a tough job and it’s important to recognise our referees have access to the same support of every other rugby league participant.
We would love to see every referees’ association in the state, just as we would every club, have at least one Support Squad mental health first aid-trained member in their midst and we’re thankful to have state match officials match official Clayton Sharpe right behind this push.
On top of that, this year we have 60 Support Squad volunteers identified looking at embarking on the path to becoming upgraded to ‘Wellbeing Champion’ status.
It’s the first time we’ve been able to offer another level to their original modules, thanks to our partnership with Mind Challenge in 2023, which is essentially an investment in the professional development of those volunteers.
Ultimately it will give these people a bigger array of skills they can tap into at their clubs and provide them further opportunities to gain in-depth nationally recognised unit standards that contribute towards a Community Services Training Package and Diploma of Community Services.
We will have another intake for Support Squad later this year, with more details to come later this month.
At the moment we’re also working on our recognition of Support Squad volunteers from across the state for 2023, as we have done in years past with an official lunch.
Last year we had a wonderful event featuring former Queensland representatives Darius Boyd and Meg Ward telling their story about mental health and wellbeing and we are looking at holding a similar event later this year.
We thank everyone who has signed on to Support Squad so far and appreciate the often confronting but vitally important work they do on the ground.