The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) and mental health charity, White Cloud Foundation, have today announced a new partnership that will make support for depression and anxiety front and centre of the sport.
QRU General Manager, Community Rugby, Gaven Head said, “The Queensland Rugby Union is proud to partner with the White Cloud Foundation and provide its Tele-Mental Health service to 107 affiliated clubs across the State from Mt Isa to the Darling Downs.”
“Through our In-Touch Mental Health Program, Queensland Rugby Union and our affiliated clubs are working to increase awareness of mental health and improve the capacity of our organisation to support improved mental health in our game and the community.”
White Cloud Foundation founder, Professor Adam Scott said its multi-disciplinary Tele-Mental Health Service is all about making help available to players and members of the QRU community suffering or at risk of depression or anxiety.
“We have assembled a talented team of 40 allied healthcare professionals, from psychologists and social workers to exercise physiologists, mental health nurses and dieticians to provide tailored, holistic, clinical and practical care to treat depression and anxiety from multiple fronts,” said Professor Scott.
“This exceptional and experienced group of specialists will work together to develop individualised treatment plans to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce risk factors, build resilience and provide patients with strategies to better manage their mental and emotional health,” said Professor Scott.
Queensland Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the global pandemic had impacted Queenslanders in different ways.
“We know sport and community sporting clubs are playing a critical role in the physical, social and mental wellbeing of Queenslanders during our pandemic recovery,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government has committed $51.3 million through the Sport and Recreation Covid-Safe Restart Plan.
“We’re helping the sport and active recreation industry with the cost of restarting community sport and recreation including field kit upgrades, cleaning, hand sanitiser and office equipment to help Queenslanders re-engage with sport as part of our Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“It’s terrific to see Queensland Rugby and White Cloud Foundation working together to open up important conversations about depression and anxiety.
“Queensland Rugby Union has taken an important step for the health of the Rugby family with access to holistic strategies for the game’s elite to officials and volunteers with a special focus on regional, rural, and remote areas of our State.
“Just by talking about mental health, we’re looking out for each other.”
White Cloud’s Tele-Mental Health Service works by connecting the community, rugby players, club officials, members and family members with its Brisbane-based Integrated Practice Unit, who will assess an individual’s needs and the support they need to improve their mental health. Specialists will support the individual from a range of different angles, including stress factors, sleep patterns, relationships, injuries, diet, exercise.
“The good news is that in addition to our partnership with the QRU, our free program is available to all Queenslanders - wherever you live, free of charge, from wherever you wish to connect. While we welcome GP or other specialist referrals, no mental health plan is required,” said Professor Scott.
Prof. Scott said the White Cloud Tele-Mental Health Service model has been years in the making and is tried, tested and works. “You can access the service today, by simply calling 07 3155 3456 (cost of a local call).”
For crisis support in Queensland, call the Queensland Health Mental Health Access Line on 1300 MH CALL (1300 642 255).