Rugby leagues unites to tackle mental health

Rugby league organisations have come together to launch a new campaign aimed at helping the sport take the lead in keeping people mentally as well as physically fit during these challenging times.

‘Rugby League United’ will be led by the independent charity Rugby League Cares in association with the Rugby Football League (RFL), Super League (Europe) and the Rugby League World Cup 2021. It has been launched in response to requests from Government, the NHS and Sport England for the game to take the initiative.

Working alongside players, community organisations and national mental health charities such as Mind and Samaritans, Rugby League United will equip people with the practical tools and techniques they need to stay in good health over the weeks and months ahead.  

The campaign builds on the work already undertaken by RL Cares and club foundations in delivering the Offload programme – a men’s mental fitness project aimed at tackling depression and anxiety, which has already engaged with over 2,000 men since its inception in 2017.

Coronavirus restrictions mean that face-to-face activity has been suspended and replaced by ‘virtual’ support to Offload squad members, which will now be extended to a wider audience. The campaign will offer guidance on areas such as: looking after yourself during social distancing measures; staying active at home; how to look after your nutrition and how this affects mental fitness; links to 24-hour support; how you can manage your stress and anxiety during this period; how to promote good relationships at home if you are feeling stressed. 

Sessions will be delivered through the accessible Zoom platform, and links will be shared across the sport’s social media channels.

Rugby League United will also feature short videos filmed by current and former players which focus on how they are looking after their own mental fitness, alongside hints and tips on how you can look after loved ones, family members, close friends and work colleagues. 

For more information and help on managing your mental fitness, please visit the RL CaresRFLSuper League and RLWC2021 websites, or follow @Offload_RL on Twitter.