'Road to Resilience': Thompson backs power of change
Manly forward Joel Thompson is using his own experience to support the NRL's 'Road to Resilience' campaign which aims to effect genuine change by encouraging people to seek help, improve their mindsets and reduce the stigma around mental health issues.
Thompson has been public over a long period about the challenges he faced growing up in a tough environment and the impact that has had on his mental health as an adult and using those experiences to support others who may be struggling.
He has been one of the faces of the NRL's State of Mind campaign and has thrown his support behind the current 'Road to Resilience' initiative, which encourages people to follow a 21-day journal which encourages them to focus on the positives in their life to build a healthy outlook.
"It's a great initiative by the NRL," Thompson told NRL.com.
"It's about looking at the positives in your life, the positive people in your life and the good things that happen in your life instead of focusing on the negatives.
"It's human nature sometimes to dwell on the negatives but the NRL is looking at a strengths-based initiative and looking at the positives you have in your life and taking it day by day.
"It takes you through a 21-day journey … there's research behind that (a 21-day plan) forming a healthy habit. By the end of it I can guarantee it will change your happiness and change your perspective on your outlook on life."
The journal includes information and resources and a variety of tasks that help focus on positive aspects of a person's life.
"The journal helps you. It's got the questions there, you go through them, each day is different which helps," Thompson said.
"It's got so much information as well. I've been telling everyone to download it, it's for free, you can go on NRL.com and find it. It's great what they've done with it."
He said he felt it important to use his profile as an NRL player to help people who are struggling.
"I've always been passionate about these kinds of things. We do have powerful voices to push positives for social change," he said.
"It's good to be a part of the NRL, they're the best at it and what they do in the community, you couldn't put a number on what they do out there.
"We do get a lot of negativity from different press and through the media but the things they do in the community like this journal is so powerful, it's awesome to be a part of and I know a lot of the other players feel the same."
Thompson said he would recommend the journal to anyone.
"With hand to heart I can honestly say it will help you and change your mindset and bring that bit of gratitude into your life which is so important," he said.