What the NRL is doing to help
Former NRL star Ben Ross says it’s “alarming” how many former players are reaching out for support as they battle the black dog.
In his role as welfare manager at Men of League, Ross sees firsthand just how many sportsmen are plagued by mental health issues once their careers end.
“I think you would be [surprised by how many people we talk to],” he tells RLW.
“I prepared myself for life after footy, a lot of boys do, but once you leave that bubble it’s very hard. We’ve always been stereotyped as these rough-and-tough rugby league players who don’t get fazed by anything, but in reality a lot of players are suffering and the first step is speaking out about it.”
Of course today’s players aren’t immune from depression either, so it’s encouraging to hear that the game’s governing body is making important strides at club level.
“There are a lot of current players struggling as well,” Ross continues. “The NRL is really on top of the new initiatives around mental health and employing two well-being officers at every club is a great step.”