Buckle explains how Foundation is proudly promoting positive mental health

On World Mental Health Day 2019, we are looking at the ways in which Leeds Rhinos Foundation is helping to raise awareness & reduce the stigma of mental health problems.

Earlier this year we launched our ground-breaking new Mental Wellbeing project, which has been delivered to hundreds of junior players throughout our Ambassador community rugby league clubs. The project has been split into two separate phases, with workshops delivered across the Character Resilience and Mental Health Awareness programmes.

The project, which is the first of its kind in rugby league, has received support from ex-player Jonny Lawless and his Minds Matter organisation, as well as Leeds Rhinos star Stevie Ward, who helped us to deliver a session at Hunslet Club Parkside. Click HERE to watch.

Additionally, we also provide support and advice to members of our other health and wellbeing programmes- including Try Club, MOTIVATE and Active Beyond Cancer.

For the past three years, Leeds Rhinos Foundation has teamed up with the State of Mind charity to offer one of their award-winning mental fitness sessions as part of our free 12-week courses, emphasising the importance of looking after their mental, as well as physical, health.

State of Mind Sport was established in 2011, aiming to harness the power of sport to promote positive mental health amongst the sportsmen and women, fans and wider communities, and ultimately to prevent suicide.

Recently, members of our Try Club programme were joined at their sessions by former Rugby League player Jimmy Gittins, who works closely as a guest speaker for State of Mind to share his experiences and encourage people to fight the stigma attached to mental health.

Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Health Officer, Laura Buckle commented: “We’re proud to collobrate with State of Mind and share their fantastic work with our participants. Throughout all of our programmes we try to ensure that promoting positive mental health is at the heart of everything we do.

“Been both physically and mentally is of the upmost importance, and recognising within ourselves or our peers when they are going through periods of poor mental health and knowing where to find support is potentially life-changing.”

Through our programmes, Leeds Rhinos Foundation has also been promoting MindWell, which has established itself as the mental health website for people in Leeds. Funded by NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, it brings together information from the NHS in Leeds, Leeds City Council and the third sector into one single ‘go to’ place.

Buckle explained: “We’ve found that many of the MindWell resources perfectly compliment the information we deliver throughout our range of programmes. We have provided signposting to our participants, including looking at how to navigate the MindWell website and use their resources effectively in a range of situations.

“We hope to continue to promote the great work of MindWell throughout our sessions and collaborate with them to produce shared self-care content for those who require support or further information in the future.

If you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling, you can find support through the ‘I need help now’ section on MindWell’s website.

To learn more about the work of State of Mind, please visit https://www.stateofmindsport.org/.