Wellbeing Round to raise awareness of mental health     08 Oct 2018    

The Wellbeing Round is an initiative driven by New Zealand Rugby’s (NZR) wellbeing programme, Headfirst and will encourage players, coaches, referees and fans to follow the MHAW theme of Let Nature In, Strengthen Your Wellbeing.

Players will be sharing their own tips via social media videos this week as they bgin the business end of their respective competitions as the Mitre 10 Cup enters the final round of the regular season and the Farah Palmer Cup heads into semifinals.

The Wellbeing Round will coincide with New Zealand's MHAW which runs from Monday, 8 October to Sunday, 14 October.

Among those promoting the Wellbeing message are Headfirst Ambassadors All Black Nehe Milner-Skudder, Black Ferns Sevens star Ruby Tui and All Blacks centurion Keven Mealamu.

“Everyone experiences stress at some point and it can get on top of you if you don’t take time out to get away from things,” Milner-Skudder said. “For me that can be as simple as heading down to the beach after mahi (work) and spending a bit of time in the fresh air walking my dogs.”

Tui said heading to the beach for a walk on the sand or a dip in the ocean always helped decrease her stress levels after a tough week of mahi. 

“Having a bit of me-time is really important for your mental health and wellbeing,” she said. “Breathing in some fresh air and feeling the sand between your toes is a great way to kick-back, unwind and focus on you without the clutter of whatever it is that’s on your mind.”

NZR Education and Wellbeing Manager Dr Nathan Price said it was often the simplest things that helped the most when it came to mental health.

“It’s easy to sit around and waste a lot of energy worrying but getting out of the house and spending a bit of time in the fresh air can do wonders,” he said.

“Whether that’s just heading to a local park or reserve for a walk or going down to support your local team it’s a good way to clear your head and keep on top of your wellbeing.”

New Zealand Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive Shaun Robinson said it was great to have the rugby community’s support.

“We are thrilled that New Zealand Rugby have supported MHAW through the Mitre 10 Cup and Farah Palmer Cup Wellbeing Round and that their players are sharing our message to Let Nature In with the thousands of men and women involved in the rugby community.

“We encourage all New Zealanders to get out and embrace nature in order to support and nurture their wellbeing.”

Note: Anyone seeking advice on mental health or wellbeing or experiencing stress, anxiety or depression can head to:

New Zealand Mental Health Foundation