Dragons’ RFC superstars discovered how to get into “touch” with their mental health and wellbeing this week ahead of this Saturday’s final home game of the season.
Chris and Jay, listening volunteers of Newport & Gwent Samaritans, presented an insightful toolbox-talk to the Dragons RFC players and staff after their Monday morning training session in Ystrad Mynach which raises awareness about talking to others.
They emphasised the fact that being there for one another isn’t just “on-the-pitch” but also off it too and it can go a long way in preventing a suicide further down the line.
Head of outreach at Newport Samaritans, Jay said in her talk “Professional athletes endure a lot more mental pressure due to various factors such as setting extremely high expectations and facing criticism on social media on top of the everyday pressures that everyone else faces.”
Samaritans Cymru are sponsoring the upcoming clash between Dragons RFC and Connacht (Saturday 4th March).
The suicide prevention charity aims to raise greater awareness of the charity and the services it provides, particularly, the 24-hour phone line, 116 123, or the Welsh language line (operating between 7pm – 11pm) on 0808 164 0123.
Neil Ingham, Executive Director of Samaritans Cymru, said “Suicide is the leading cause of deaths among men under 50 in Wales.”
So as an organisation committed to reducing the number of deaths by suicide, working in partnership with Dragons RFC meant that we could reach out to more men in Wales.”
Dragons RFC head coach Dai Flannagan said “It was great to welcome Newport & Gwent Samaritans to our training base to present an informative and thought-provoking session with the playing squad and learn more about the key work they carry out.
“We also thank them for their match sponsorship on Saturday when our supporters will discover more about the vital work of the suicide prevention charity.”
We’d like to show our appreciation to Dragons RFC for partnering with us, so that we can make a difference, not only to the players and staff but to the wider fanbase living in Gwent.
Neil Ingham, Executive Director for Samaritans Cymru