The NSWRL has teamed up with the NSW Government and one of the leading suicide prevention training providers in the world, LivingWorks, to deliver a suicide prevention program for Rugby League clubs across the state.
The Living Works initiative, fully funded by NSW Health, is already being rolled out in NSW high schools for teachers, wellbeing leaders, parents and senior students. Now the program will be offered to 700 NSWRL clubs across the state.
The ‘LivingWorks safeTalk’ program is a suicide prevention skills workshop and is designed to take the burden off the individual by creating a network of safety for those in crisis. It equips people with the skills to recognise when someone is having thoughts of suicide and how to respond to help keep them safe.
The announcement was made today at Kogarah’s Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Grand Final day for NSWRL’s Sydney Shield and Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup competitions by the Minister for Mental Health, Rose Jackson, alongside NSWRL Mental Fitness and Wellbeing Manager Paul Langmack, and LivingWorks Australia CEO Shayne Connell.
NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said: “Mental health is such an important issue for a game and for our community in general.
“It is a wonderful thing that we are able to use the reach of the profile of our sport and NSW Rugby League to contribute to the great work which LivingWorks are doing in this area.”
Langmack, who is central to delivering the programs to the Rugby League community, said: “Youth suicide is a big problem in society and LivingWorks offers a unique preventative program fully funded by NSW Health.
“We have an incredible opportunity to use Rugby League as a vehicle to amplify the important work being done by LivingWorks and the NSW Government.
“We plan to take the program to Rugby League clubs all over NSW, especially in regional areas which are more isolated and have to deal with this issue far too often.”
Langmack runs the NSWRL ‘Changing Rooms’ mental fitness programs in junior and senior Rugby League clubs, other sports codes, schools, charity groups, and community associations.
So far Langmack’s NSWRL program has reached 4,500 students and players.
Ms Jackson said: “Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and ensuring as many people as possible have access to core skills which can help support someone during one of their most vulnerable moments is critical to saving lives.
“This training, run by Australia’s leading suicide prevention skills training organisation LivingWorks, is open to entire club communities to wrap essential support around young people to keep them safe.”
Click here for information on LivingWorks ‘safeTalk’ programs.