Lift The Weight NEW 2021

Everybody struggles. It's OK to ask for help.

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Welcome to the Lift the Weight hub. Here you will find videos, advice and links related to a range of mental health issues that may affect you, or somebody you know.

One in four people in the UK will be affected by mental illness in any year, with the most common being depression and anxiety. Often the pressures and strains that can act as a catalyst to mental health issues are magnified for professional sportspeople.

From coping with injury and intense pressure to performing week in, week out, to facing constant media scrutiny and meeting the high expectations of fans, players experience a unique set of pressures. Despite a number of high-profile elite athletes speaking out about their own struggles with mental health, the stigma around these issues remains.

Don’t suffer in silence. Lift the weight. 

If you are an RPA member, you can access 24/7 confidential counselling by contacting️ Cognacity on 01373 858 080.

If you need support for your own mental health or are concerned about a friend or family member and you are not a member of the Rugby Players Association further information and support is available from:

We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We offer a range of support including a confidential Infoline, free information resources and support through our network of local Minds.


Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393
Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

Samaritans offer a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year confidential, free helpline. You don’t have to be suicidal to call it.

Helpline: 116 123

Your GP, NHS 111 or 999

Life is full of transitions, pleasant and unpleasant, expected and unexpected. Top players - indeed all players - will have negotiated some of these transitions, and some will have done this with more success than others.
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Coping with Injury
Our reaction to getting injured makes a big difference to how well we recover. For a bad injury, many athletes seem to pass through some recognisable stages: anger; denial; depression; acceptance. Ideally, of course, you would relatively quickly move to acceptance, stop being angry, and engage in rehab with optimism, despite the inevitable setbacks. Though that is not always straightforward.
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Positive relationships are one of the key pillars of mental health, happiness, resilience and wellbeing. Developing and maintaining good quality relationships – at home, with friends, in the workplace – is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing. And your success and performance, in sport and in life.
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Addictive Behaviours
Addictive behaviours – such as those associated with alcohol, smoking, recreational drugs, some prescribed medication and gambling – are diagnosed when even though the behaviour is causing a person significant harm, the person experiences real difficulty cutting down or stopping the behaviour. There are a range of things you can do if they are concerned that perhaps you have become addicted to a substance or a particular behaviour, or if they know that you have.
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Depression is more than just a short period of sadness. It is consistently low mood lasting over 2 weeks and is also accompanied by other symptoms. Depression is often accompanied by feelings of anxiety, and perhaps negative thoughts about oneself, the future and the world. For some people, the pain of the condition and the loss of hope of things getting better cause them to take their own lives. Depression needs to be taken seriously.
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Anxiety & Stress
Anxiety and feelings of stress are very common. They are normal and natural. Our brains evolved to help us survive, not to make us happy. Anxiety and stress are ways of letting us know that there is some possible danger present and we need to get ready and adapt.
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Rugby is an inclusive sport and we want all players to feel embraced and accepted for who they are. In this section, seven players share their experiences of a range of personal topics, including race, religion, sexuality and identity, to increase awareness and understanding of the different demographics and experiences of fellow players. Regardless of who you are, we want players to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin so that they can flourish on and off the field.
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