It’s good to talk. That is the premise behind the Rugby Players’ Association’s (RPA) Lift The Weight campaign. Launched in February 2017 to help fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues, Lift The Weight promotes the idea that it is OK to not be OK; that if a player has a mental health problem there is help available – and it is almost certain that your fellow professionals will have experienced something similar. The campaign is headed up by Caroline Guthrie, Senior Personal Development Manager at the RPA, who talked John Portch through the confidential counselling and various other services available to its membership of 700 players and a further 400 ex-professionals. Topics touched upon include:
-Lift The Weight’s efforts to cultivate a culture of openness.
-The importance of using former players to share their experience of mental health issues.
-The importance of storytelling and providing opportunities for individuals to connect with others.
-RPA Transition Weekends and the emotional impact of big changes in a player’s life.
-Educating players to recognise the symptoms and signs of depression or addictive behaviours.
For more information on Lift The Weight check out: https://therpa.co.uk/lifttheweight/