The Government of Western Australia and the NRL have announced a two-year partnership which will see the successful State of Mind Grassroots program delivered to all grassroots rugby league clubs in the state.
The Government of Western Australia is providing $100,000 over two years to support the delivery of the six-step program which aims to:
- Use the Game's reach, profile, Clubs and players to reduce stigma around mental illness;
- Stimulate help seeking behaviours by educating and informing our community with appropriate resources and literature;
- Connect Rugby League communities with our expert partners; and
- Develop elite players to be leaders in mental health advocacy within their Clubs and communities.
West Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Mental Health, Roger Cook said this program will help to give young people the tools and strategies they need to understand and acknowledge mental health, and mental illness, and to know what to do if they, or someone they know, needs help.
"Young people experience the highest prevalence and incidence for mental illness across the lifespan, so it is critical we give them support and information early," Mr Cook said.
"Grassroots sporting and community organisations can play an important role in helping communities to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and I thank the NRL for their support."
NRL Head of Government and Community Relations thanked the West Australian Government for their support of the NRL’s State of Mind Grassroots Program.
“The NRL is committed to working with our expert partners, Governments and local rugby league clubs to improve the mental wellbeing of our rugby league family and the broader community,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.
“The funding commitment from the Western Australian Government will allow us to deliver the State of Mind Grassroots program to all local rugby league clubs in Western Australia over the next two years.
“This announcement means that Western Australia will be the first State of Mind state with all Clubs having completed the program. An achievement that would not be possible without the support of Deputy Premier Roger Cook and the WA Government.
“With State of Origin coming to Perth in 2019, we look forward to using that platform to recognise all the local clubs that have completed the program.”
NRL Ambassador Clinton Toopi said the State of Mind Grassroots program will help reduce stigma about mental illness and help educate club members about signs and symptoms of mentally ill health and how best to connect with local service providers.
“This program is helping local rugby league clubs across Australia and New Zealand and it’s fabulous that the Western Australian Government has recognised its success,” Mr Toopi said.