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NRL stars look forward to making a difference off the field in 2019

Manly Sea Eagles forward Frank Winterstein said it is time NRL players take responsibility and lead the way for NRL's State of Mind and Voice Against Violence programs.

Seventeen first-grade players have committed to the causes after nominating themselves to become advocates to increase awareness of mental health issues and campaign against violence.

Winterstein said it's important players take the game's community programs seriously.

"As a high-profile sport, it's important to set an example for the younger generation," Winterstein said.

"We need to show that we take these matters seriously and are proactively involved. At the end of the day we are role models and these programs help hold us accountable for our behaviour on and off the field.

"I believe with players running these programs it holds more weight and power."

Throughout this year the 17 players underwent inductions with program staff and training from experts.

Advocates alongside Winterstein include Darius Boyd, Angus Crichton, Dale Copley, Dale Finucane, Jayden Okunbor, Joel Thompson, Michael Morgan, Paul Momirovski, Wayde Egan, Cameron King, Christian Welch, Daniel Alvaro, David Gower, Tariq Sims, Alex Glenn and Joseph Tapine.

Brisbane skipper Boyd, who's been a State of Mind Ambassador since 2015, said after facing challenges of his own and watching his mum endure some tough times as well, it's important for him to shares his experiences with others.

"It's something that's pretty close to my heart - I decided to jump on board as an advocate after I had a bit of trouble myself with mental health and mums had some issue with her mental health as well and still does to this day," Boyd said.

"Some of the changes and challenges I've been through and things I've been able to come out the other side of through working on my mental health has changed my life.

"We all come across challenges in our lives, it's just about how you rectify those situations and having a positive mindset and positive people around you to get you through the ups and downs.

"If I can share my experience with others and encourage them to change their life for the better than I'm doing my part."

The fullback said it's vital that the veterans at each club are leading by example so that the younger players follow in the right direction.

As a high-profile sport, it's important to set an example for the younger generation.

Frank Winterstein

"When I first started playing there were no advocates in this space, since then we've seen a lot of change," Boyd said.

"It's great to see the number of players that are putting their hand up to volunteer to be an advocate - it's something we should be very proud of.

"What I think is most important is that us older boys are leading the way in this space for the young boys to follow."

The NRL's State of Mind program is proudly supported by QLD Government (lead investor), Western Australia Government, Northern Territory Government & Australian Government.

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