Nearly two in three players struggle with mental health within two years post-retirement

One in four people in the UK will be affected by mental illness in any year, with the most common being depression and anxiety. Rugby players are no exception.

From coping with injury and intense pressure to performing week in, week out, to being in the public eye 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. The reality is that 63% of players struggle with mental health issues within two years post-retirement.

We pay for a confidential helpline as a first touch point for any of our players experiencing a mental health issue. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and accessible from anywhere in the country. It is a discrete, safe lifeline for players finding it difficult to open-up and take the first step. From there a player will be able to access a trained professional who will be able to provide the support and help needed around issues such as anxiety, depression and stress, coping with injury, anger management, relationship issues, career transition, addiction and bereavement.

We also provide further tailored support by funding clinical treatment sessions to address issues. Counsellors specialise in different areas of mental health and wellbeing either over the phone or face to face providing;

  • One to one, individually tailored counselling or talking therapy sessions
  • Cognitive therapies, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapies
  • Relationship therapies to support families



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

For more information, visit the RPA’s Lift the Weight Hub. You will find videos, advice and links related to a range of mental health issues that may affect you, or somebody you know.