A TALKING tour brought the local community together for mental health training and a bit of footy, at a time when connection is "more important than ever".
Mental health organisation Batyr brought its 'Get Talkin' Tour' to rugby clubs in Tamworth and Barraba during the week.
Head of programs Stephanie Vasiliou said the events were a success.
"COVID-19 has really hurt, people are so much more isolated and that connection and conversation about mental health is more important now than ever before," she said.
The tour is designed to help people understand how to chat about mental health with mates, where to get help and promote wellbeing.
And, there's a special sporting twist. NSW Positive Rugby Foundation and the Waratahs are partners of the tour, and a training session kicks off the day.
"We've seen sport as such an amazing tool to bring people together," Ms Vasiliou said. "It's about building a bridge between mental health and physical health ... it's easier to talk about health in terms of injuries, but mental health is a different story.
"Over the years, we've seen amazing success to change the culture and help people know they can take charge of their mental health."
The events, run on Tuesday and Wednesday, attracted about 20 locals from across the region for training.
They had panelists like local Headspace staff as well as young people from the New England North West, who shared their stories.
Ms Vasiliou said training will come back to Tamworth in the future, and resources are also available online during COVID-19.
- If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636