8 Rugby players speaking about depression
According to UK mental health charity Mind, one in four people in the Britain experience a mental health problem each year, and one in six do on a weekly basis. A report in 2016 found that one in five people in England had had suicidal thoughts, self-harmed, or attempted to take their own life.
Meanwhile, a study by the Rugby Players Association (RPA), England’s player representative body, revealed last year that 62% of retired rugby players have suffered from mental health issues, close to half of whom had played at international level.
1. JOHN KIRWAN
“Getting help [for depression], for someone like me who saw getting help as a weakness, was a big step. I did an awareness campaign and that first step was really difficult for me. I thought people were going to think I was mad.”
2. JONNY WILKINSON
“I’d allowed that World Cup to become a defining moment, it gave me the proof I needed that I was doing everything right, so it reinforced this idea that I needed to destroy myself physically and mentally. It took a few years for the pressure to really build. And then it exploded.”
Thanks @JonnyWilkinson. Lessons for many “successful” physicians and scientists.
Jonny Wilkinson, England’s World Cup winning fly-half, speaks about his battle with mental illness and why no amount of trophies can ease the pain of depressionhttps://t.co/7wgJhrq5X4
— John Greally (@EpgntxEinstein) September 9, 2019
3. KEARNAN MYALL
“You don’t want other people to know you’re struggling. It comes across as weakness. Was that innately programmed into me? I just thought that if I mentioned the problems I was having I wasn’t going to get picked. Then I wouldn’t get another contract and it would all get worse.”
4. JAMES HASKELL
A firm believer that “a problem shared is a problem halved”, James Haskell reveals how he boosted his confidence and self-esteem as a young player by speaking to a sports psychologist. The experience taught him how to have a positive outlook on life and gave him the tools to cope with the pressures of performing at the top level.