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NRL Community has been using our voice, in consultation with Australia's leading mental health experts, to make a difference to a big issue that impacts our game and our communities – mental illness.

Mental illness doesn't discriminate. In Australia, 1-in-2 people are affected by mental illness. It's Australia's single biggest health issue and, as Australia's biggest sporting community, we can and should play a pivotal role in improving the outcomes for those affected.

Our approach is:

  • Use the Game's reach, profile, clubs and players to help remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • Connect rugby league communities (participants, fans, and volunteers) with our mental health partners and local service providers.
  • Stimulate help-seeking behaviours throughout the Rugby League community by providing appropriate literature and resources.
  • Educate and inform our Grassroots Club's through an interactive face-to-face session to improve mental health literacy.
  • Develop elite players to be leaders in mental health advocacy within their Clubs and communities.

The NRL's State of Mind program has been developed in partnership with Lifeline, Kids Helpline, headspace and the Black Dog Institute.

The aim of this program, which will be the constant driver of our work, is to:

  1. Use the Game's reach, profile, Clubs and players to reduce stigma around mental illness;
  2. Increase our participants understanding of mental health;
  3. Stimulate help seeking behaviours by educating and informing our community with appropriate resources and literature;
  4. Connect Rugby League communities with our expert partners.

State of Mind Advocates

Back in 2015, the NRL set out to appoint the first game-wide NRL State of Mind Advocates to represent the NRL playing group. Since then, we have been extremely fortunate to have a range of players lend their voice and profile to the program.

The State of Mind Advocates are current NRL squad members and self-nominated for the role, to utilize their profile and voice to amplify awareness of mental health and the importance of reaching out and having a conversation.

With the knowledge and experience they gain as Advocates, they will then be equipped to lead the increase of mental health literacy within their own networks and clubs

Power for Change

We use our players and events to highlight the messages of our community programs, and for State of Mind that platform is Australia's biggest sporting event - the annual State of Origin series.

Grassroots and Junior League Support

The State of Mind Grassroots Program is a four-step recognition process that has been developed in consultation with our expert partners.

The program has been designed to be delivered to club administrators, coaches, managers and senior members of grassroots Rugby League clubs across Australia.

The key outcomes of the State of Mind Grassroots Program will be a constant driver in our work;

  • Reduce the stigma around mental ill health within the club and community
  • Increase mental health literacy across grassroots Rugby League clubs.
  • Stimulate help seeking behaviours of club members and community.
  • Each club will take ownership of mental health awareness at the workshop conclusion

We are currently delivering the program across the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

NRL Welfare and Education Program

We want players and officials to be proud of the game they play and love, but also balanced in their approach to life. The NRL/RLPA Wellbeing and Education team want all in the Rugby League family to achieve success on the field as well as off it.

To find out more information, visit: www.nrl.com/wellbeing-and-education/

How to get involved

To express an interest in participating in the NRL's State of Mind program, please complete this brief form below.

Contact Us
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