Tamworth Magpies Rugby Club join with headspace to fight mental health

TAMWORTH Rugby Club and headspace have joined forces again to fight mental health, with the local branch launching it’s national headcoach campaign with the club, with the premise that “minds need training too”.

TEAMING UP AGAIN: Tamworth first grade coach Peter Burke said the club's relationship with headspace was "very important".

TEAMING UP AGAIN: Tamworth first grade coach Peter Burke said the club's relationship with headspace was "very important".

Tamworth first grade coach Peter Burke said he’d personally experienced losing a teammate to the black dog, and it’s something he never wants to see repeated in the next generation of Magpies.

“It’s something that stays with you,” he said.

“I want everyone in our club to know that if you’re doing it tough, there is someone you can turn to within the club, or to somewhere like headspace.

“Culturally, we want to be more than just a football team. We want to be a group of people that can support each other and make sure it’s an environment of care.

“Back in the ‘80s, we really didn’t know where to go for help. To know that we have organisations such as headspace is wonderful.”

Tamworth headspace youth care coordinator Meghan Leary said the program hammered home the message that “good mental health is just as important as good physical health”.

“Tamworth Rugby Club has previously supported us through their headspace day, which raised $10,000 for us, so we wanted to give back,” Ms Leary said.

“We gave out tips and advice about how to handle the tough times, along with how to stay connect with friends and family that may be battling with their mental health.

“It was a really good turn out, there were quite a few club members there.”

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Young men are a key demographic for headspace, as only 38 per cent of people reaching out to the organisation are male.

“We know that one in seven young men aged 16 to 24 experience depression or anxiety every year, but only 13 per cent will seek help,” Ms Leary said.

Mr Burke said the ongoing relationship with headspace was “very important to the club”.

“Ultimately as a club, our union with them will go a very long way to help any of our players suffering in any way shape or form,” he said.

“You can’t be mentally tough on the field, without being mentally well off it.”

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