England Rugby and Simplyhealth have teamed up through a player welfare programme to increase mental health support for the rugby community as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
As part of the RFU's RugbySafe programme, a new guide has been created to provide additional assistance for rugby clubs which are so often support hubs for their local communities.
England Rugby and Simplyhealth have developed this dedicated mental health resource for the community game, researched and prepared by the Mental Health Foundation, to provide advice and guidance to help rugby communities recognise symptoms of poor mental health and direct members towards professionals if needed.
Lark Davies ready to up Red Roses game for New Zealand clash
The new resource complements a series of mental health question and answer sessions for players and volunteers during lockdown.
As the country emerges from lockdown, never has the significance of Mental Health Awareness Week been greater, or the ability to recognise that someone is struggling more important.
As part of the RugbySafe programme, Simplyhealth ambassadors Dylan Hartley and David Beeney - founder of Breaking the Silence - have shared personal experiences and suggestions on how to create open environments where teammates feel comfortable to talk and ask for help.
During this week's Mental Health Awareness Week, England Rugby have been highlighting the integral role already played by rugby clubs across the country in supporting their communities.
In 2019/20 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related ill health cases, while the economic and social costs of mental health problems in England are estimated at around £105billion each year.
One adult in six has a common mental health problem, and it is hoped that the stigma around talking about our mental health and the resulting risks are being reduced by training in spotting the signs and a readiness to step in and offer help.
RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said: "I am impressed by the progress that we as a sport and a society have made in removing the stigma around talking about mental health.
"We have still got a long way to go but so many of our clubs have embraced mental health awareness and support that I am optimistic about the future.
"We often talk of the rugby family and the best families are always willing to listen and to help in challenging times.
"Many of us have been touched by tragedies which might have been avoided had we known and understood more - that knowledge and understanding is something that our sport is well placed to provide.
"We are a team sport and a sporting community, and I am most grateful to all of our clubs and Constituent Bodies who are working to improve the mental wellbeing of their players and members and keep those in the rugby family safe.
"We are very glad to have our partner Simplyhealth's support in creating this excellent wellbeing resource for our rugby community."
To download England Rugby and Simplyhealth's mental health resource, or to find out more about the RugbySafe player welfare programme, visit EnglandRugby.com/RugbySafe
Evergreen Phipps targeting shot at Paris glory
Visser hails 'superb' former Quins teammate Lynagh