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Norths Juniors, first to be recognised in Queensland

Norths Juniors Rugby League Club today became the first NRL State of Mind recognised club in Queensland after completing the six-step recognition process.

Queensland Health is providing $940,500 to the NRL over three years, commencing 2016, to implement its State of Mind Grassroots Program throughout Queensland.

The program aims to create positive discussion and connection in the communities where the NRL operates, and stimulate help-seeking behaviours.

Member for Sandgate Stirling Hinchliffe, acting as Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick’s representative, presented the

Norths Juniors Rugby League President Peter Fraser with a recognition plaque in celebration of their achievement.  

“The State of Mind Grassroots Program is helping to reduce the stigma around mental health in rugby league communities,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Norths Juniors Rugby League club has completed the six-point plan as part of the program and has seen some great results within its community.

“As a passionate rugby league fan, I know all about the social and fitness benefits the game brings, and this program provides the added benefits of maintaining good mental health.

“Since the program commenced in 2016 the NRL has seen a 72 per cent reduction in perceived stigma towards mental illness and suicide.”

Mr Dick said these results were a testament to a successful mental health program being rolled out across the state.

“Our investment in the program is a great opportunity to support rugby league players across the state to keep their minds healthy,” he said.

“Queensland has a large and widespread rugby league community, myself included, and if we can encourage even a small portion of this community to be proactive in their mental health, that’s a good outcome.”

NRL Community Health Manager Jessica Macartney said the State of Mind program has had a significant impact on the lives of many, and congratulated Norths Juniors on embracing and supporting the aim of promoting positive mental wellbeing.

“Since the program commenced, we’ve received tremendous support and feedback, from players to mental health partners and local clubs and communities,” Ms Macartney said.

“Rugby League has a large voice within society and a responsibility to use its voice to better one another.

“It is wonderful to see Norths Juniors get so much out of this program and I thank the Queensland Government for their significant backing, which is helping us visit hundreds of junior rugby league clubs throughout the state to offer the program and support.”

Mr Fraser said that the club was proud to be the first junior club in Queensland to complete the program.

“This is a fantastic achievement for all concerned with our club and it reinforces the fact that Norths Juniors will continue to provide a supportive environment for our community,” he said.