The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) is today supporting Time to Change’s ‘Time to Talk Day’, a campaign encouraging the nation to have a conversation about mental health and to remove many of the associated prejudices.
The RPA is joining the conversation to help raise awareness amongst players about mental health and where they can access support.
Now into its 18th year, the RPA provides support through its player welfare programme which offers all current and former members a 24 hour confidential counselling service. The service provides player support on a wide range of issues including depression, stress, gambling and alcohol addiction, coping with career transition and bereavement.
RPA Rugby Director, Richard Bryan, said: “The RPA is a big supporter of ‘Time to Talk Day’ and encourage all our members to join in on the conversation and help end mental health discrimination.
“The physical and mental demands on the modern day professional rugby player are unrelenting and extremely high and therefore we strongly believe mental health should be spoken about without fear or prejudice. Our confidential counselling service has been established for a number of years and we encourage all RPA members to access this support whenever they want to.”
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “On the 4th February we’ll be holding our third ‘Time to Talk Day’. Having a day when we encourage the nation to talk about mental health collectively can give people the confidence to have these conversations and show that you don’t have to be an expert on mental health. We need to replace silence and stigma with talking, greater understanding and support.”
As part of ‘Time to Talk Day’, the RPA spoke exclusively to former Sale Sharks and Oxford University flanker and now qualified psychotherapist, John Carter, about the importance of talking with family, friends and colleagues during difficult or transitional times.
You can read the full interview with John by clicking here.
For more information on Time to Talk Day please click here.