Offload at Christmas

For many of us Christmas brings opportunities to socialise, spend time with loved ones, reconnect and refocus on what’s important to us. As the darker nights draw to a close, we start to contemplate how we will fill our time, maybe making a commitment to doing something differently or learning something new.

But what if there was one thing that you couldn’t change no matter how much you wanted to…

In life everyone has mental health. Life has many ups & downs & your ability to deal with these on a daily basis determines whether you have good, poor or indifferent mental health. Whether it be a loss of a relationship, struggles at work, health issues or financial pressures we all have times when we need help and support to help us through the tough times.

 

Ever since the tragic death of Great Britain Rugby League superstar, Terry Newton who took his own life in 2010, the fantastic team at State of Mind have been working overtime to raise awareness of & tackle the stigma associated with mental health across all levels of the game and beyond.

Having had the privilege of working closely with them for a number of years on a variety of events, projects and campaigns including the annual State of Mind round of Super League fixtures, I was delighted when they joined forces with RL Cares to create the ground-breaking Offload project alongside ourselves, Salford and Widnes.

Whilst an incredible amount of work has already been done to support men who are struggling with the challenges of life and more high profile examples are appearing in the national media every day, Offload presents a unique opportunity to make a life changing impact on our very doorstep.

At Offload, we have adopted the motto that ‘it’s OK to not be OK’ and the men who take the brave and courageous 2 steps through the front door at the Stadium every Tuesday evening are walking, talking, living examples of this and none more so than Ian;

‘Joining Offload was one of the best decisions I ever made. It has made a huge difference to my life, it’s been inspirational and given me new coping mechanisms and live life to the full again. The Tuesday night fixtures are the highlight of my week and I realised from speaking to the other lads who attend that I was not alone and we all love it. You can get involved as much or as little as you like-some people are happy to open up about their personal situations whilst others prefer to sit and listen.

It’s been a revelation especially when you consider it’s still very early days. The biggest first step is speaking to someone if you’re struggling and I’m really fortunate that my friends and family are there to support me which I realise not everyone has so please ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed’

Offload does things differently than the more ‘traditional’ health services that men are encouraged to but very rarely engage with.

If you, a mate, family member, work colleague or neighbour is struggling with the demands of life please tell them about Offload because you might just save theirs.