South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with the rugby league community to help raise awareness of mental health as part of a national campaign.
The State of Mind campaign, run as a partnership between the State of Mind Programme Board, Super League clubs, and the NHS, is backed by the Rugby Football League (RFL) as the game’s first major attempt to raise awareness of mental health issues.
The idea for the campaign came after the sad death of former Great Britain player Terry Newton in September 2010, and the RFL has designated the last round of fixtures for this Super League season as the State of Mind round.
The national campaign programme, instigated by two former NHS directors and Rugby League enthusiasts, Ernie Benbow and Malcolm Rae, includes an awareness film exploring issues of mental health in sport as a metaphor for life generally; player education awareness sessions for players from all 14 Super League clubs and training sessions for youth development managers delivered by Mental Health First Aid.
The Trust is supporting the campaign by holding awareness stalls at two rugby league games in the district. Representatives from the Trust were at the Castleford Tigers game on Saturday 3 September, and will be at the Wakefield Wildcats game on Friday 9 September to help promote the Trust’s mental health services and provide information on mental health and wellbeing.
Tim Breedon, the Trust’s district service director for Wakefield, said, “”One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some stage in their lives and so lots of us, our friends, colleagues and families may need to use mental health services.
"Despite how common mental health issues are, the stigma that people face can be extremely damaging, making it harder for those with mental health problems to get the help they need, so the State of Mind awareness campaign provides an excellent opportunity to teach people about mental health and encourage them to think differently.
"A great way for people to find out more about mental wellbeing and local services is to join as a member of our Trust and there will be an opportunity to do so at our stall at the Wakefield Wildcats game."
Go to www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk for further information about the Trust and membership.