In the lead up to one of the biggest occasions on the rugby league calendar, the NRL has launched a new campaign highlighting one of the biggest health issues in Australia.
#Don’t Stay On The Sideline is the latest feature of the Game's State of Mind program, promoting positive mental wellbeing and support for one another.
Representatives from the NRL, Queensland State Government, NSWRL and QRL joined forces to officially launch the campaign today in the shadows of Suncorp Stadium, where thousands of fans will cheer on their heroes tomorrow for Holden State of Origin – Game One.
NRL State of Mind Advocate and former Queensland player, David Shillington said he was as proud to be part of the State of Mind team as he was having run out for any Origin match in the past.
"State of Origin provided me with some of the best moments of my career, but my association with the State of Mind program has been just as special," Shillington said.
"It's so important to look out for your mates and to check in with them to make sure they're ok.
"This campaign is all about not staying on the sideline – whether you're at work, at a barbecue, in the park, or anywhere else. You never know when simply asking how someone is can mean the world to them."
NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder encouraged fans to pledge their own support towards positive mental health and wellbeing by sharing the campaign online.
"Our State of Mind program is all about joining the national conversation to reduce the stigma around mental health and to encourage people of all ages to talk to one another and reach out if they need help.
"Rugby League is a tough game – but it's also a game full of players, coaches, referees and volunteers that all support one another – and that's what our message is. Don't stay on the sideline if you see someone who is having a tough time."
The NRL State of Mind program is supported by a number of expert mental health partners, together with a number of Federal, State and Territory Governments.
Government support includes the Australian Federal Government, together with the Queensland and Western Australian State Governments and Northern Territory Government.
Expert partners include Kids Helpline, headspace, Lifeline and the Black Dog Institute.
To view the latest State of Mind campaign, click here.
For images of the State of Mind campaign, click here.