Origin stars in the right 'State of Mind'
Two of the toughest rivals in State of Origin history, Paul Gallen and Nate Myles, have joined forces to encourage people to seek help for mental health issues.
The "What's Your State of Mind" campaign is aimed at breaking down stigmas around mental health and reminding people that it's ok to seek help.
The NRL is getting behind the campaign through a new television commercial featuring Gallen and Myles who engaged in one of Origin's most infamous on-field battles last year.
The ad shows Gallen and Myles face to face, looking awkward but eventually putting their differences aside and asking if each other is ok.
The commercial will be launched on social media this weekend and on television next week. The campaign also features a dedicated website: www.nrlstateofmind.com.au
The "State of Mind" ad has been timed to coincide with the State of Origin series – a pinnacle of the Rugby League season.
The NRL's Head of Marketing, Lewis Pullen said it was important to recognise that anyone could suffer from mental illness, no matter how tough they appear to be.
"Rugby League is a bruising sport and the physical effects on our players are there for all to see," he said.
"But, just as in every other part of society, the mental effects are generally not easily seen at all."
Some of Australia's most prominent mental health service providers have joined forces for the State of Mind campaign. They include Headspace, Beyond Blue, SANE Australia, Lifeline, Black Dog Institute, Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, Kids Help Line and MensLine Australia
Z-cards promoting their services will be will be handed out by former Origin greats during the series. The New South Wales Supporters Bay will also be wearing "What's Your State of Mind" t-shirts.
Paul Gallen said today that it was important for the community to realise that mental health problems could affect anyone in the community.
"Mental health affects 1 in 5 Australians and I think it is an important issue that needs to be addressed
"Campaigns such as these help break down the stigma that is often attached to issues such as depression and hopefully it will encourage people to seek help if they are in need.
Nate Myles said he was proud to be part of the campaign.
"Depression is often seen as weakness but it takes enormous courage to put your hand up and ask for help.
"The NRL has put together a campaign that is a little bit cheeky, but hopefully it will encourage everyone, particularly men, to do just that."