NRL State of Mind ambassadors Dane Gagai, Darius Boyd and Michael Morgan, were joined by their Queensland Origin teammates yesterday to announce close to $1 million worth of funding in Queensland for the NRL’s State of Mind program.
| Watch Dane's interview on the NRL Footy Show HERE |
Now in its fourth year, the NRL State of Mind campaign has reached more than 10 million people across Australia and New Zealand, with the aim of helping to reduce the stigma around mental illness, stimulate help-seeking behaviours and increase mental health literacy amongst communities.
The funding was officially announced at a Queensland Parliamentary Friends of Rugby League luncheon, with the Queensland Origin team joining the Queensland Premier, Treasurer and members of the NRL and QRL in support of the fight against mental illness.
Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick, said the funding would help reach regional and rural communities, where services were not as available as in some built up areas.
“What we’re trying to do as a government is lift the stigma surrounding people talking about mental health,” said Mr Dick.
“Football clubs can reach a lot of people who would not otherwise be comfortable talking about mental health and there is a clear need to reach more people to talk about mental health.”
Funding will go directly towards a newly developed grassroots program - providing resource packs, education and support programs, action plans and incentive programs for communities and individuals in need.
Grassroots education programs and support services will reach more than 220 local communities throughout Queensland over the next three years, helping to empower clubs to create mental health friendly environments and communities.
In addition to the funding, the NRL unveiled a new State of Mind commercial featuring two young men who are in the age bracket that is most affected by suicide, 15 – 44 years of age. The commercial can be viewed here.
The NRL State of Mind program is supported by national mental health partners including Lifeline, The Black Dog Institute, Headspace and Kids Helpline, who all provide expert advice and guidance for the program
Pasifika mental health support group Le Va has also joined the NRL State of Mind program as an invaluable addition for Rugby League Pasifika communities.