Though the NRL stars visiting schools in the MIA this week did bring smiles to many faces in Griffith, Coly, and Leeton the true purpose of their visit was deadly serious.
As part of their Road to Regions tour Jordan Rapana, Ruan Sims and Dale Finucane were down at the South Side Leagues Club on Monday night holding a talk with Group 20 and ProTen club reps about how to establish cultures of mental health support.
The prevalence of suicide and self harm in rural farming communities, and the love of league in those communities, has put local footy clubs to the fore in helping treat the mental health of young people.
With the ProTen Cup only having returned to the region last year club reps Daniel Duckworth of Goolgowi and Jamie Parsons said they hope to establish a strong culture at their clubs from the get-go of supporting and approaching their players when it comes to their mental well being.
“A reason the ProTen started was because of the prevalence of depression in the men in rural areas, there was a lot of isolation, with this talk there is a lot of resources we can take to back to the club and to the competition, we have partnered with Beyondblue last year,” Parsons said.
“It's hard to see proof of individual improvement in mental health but in all of our six communities in the ProTen there are a lot more people getting together and spending time with each other rather than spending time alone out on their farms.”
Duckworth said large numbers of supporters and organizers are also benefiting from getting out and about with the ProTen Cup.
Seeking Help? Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.
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