You don’t have to suffer in silence

Terry Newton
Terry Newton

A MENTAL health campaign set up following the tragic death of former Wigan Warriors star Terry Newton is set to grow in 2012.

The State of Mind campaign was launched last year with the aim of raising awareness about mental health issues in the rugby league community.

It came about following the former Warriors star’s suicide last year and has received a terrific response since its inception.

Wigan Warriors have taken the campaign onboard, hosting various awareness raising events such as a charity row-a-thon in the Grand Arcade.

Fixtures during round 27 of last year’s Super league season were branded as State of Mind games, holding a variety of events, promoting the issues of mental health and highlighting other avenues of support if someone wants help with the stresses in their life.

And this year the campaign is hoping to kick on and raise awareness in the Championship as well as Super League.

Phil Cooper, a nurse consultant in dual diagnosis at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and one of the members of the State of Mind campaign team last week made a presentation to the players at Leigh Centurions.

He said: “Last year we targeted Super League clubs and had a round of fixtures given to us to promote the campaign.

“We hope the RFL will also give us another round of fixtures this year and we are extending our work into the Championship.”

Phil developed the ‘Feel Good, Play Better, Live Well’ education and awareness sessions with the support of his colleague Carol Ede.

Phil works with service users who have mental ill-health and who also mis-use drugs, alcohol or both.

His presentations are designed to help players identify how they can improve their mental well-being and encouraging them to ask for help if they need it.

Former footballer Dean Windass has recently revealed how he struggled to come to terms with depression and admitted he has attempted suicide, and last week Sale Sharks player Selorm Kuadey, is believed to have taken his own life.

And the State of Mind campaign hope that by encouraging people to talk, they will be able to tackle similar scenarios in rugby.

He added: “Rugby has a macho image and our message is letting players know help is there.”