Lifestyle Health

Monday 11 December 2017

Rugby stars trained to recognise signs of depression

IRUPA player development manager Marcus Horan
IRUPA player development manager Marcus Horan
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

IRISH rugby stars have teamed up with suicide charity, Console, in a bid to tackle the issue of self-harm.

The Irish Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA) is working with the charity to provide training to players and coaching staff in each province. The aim is to help identify at-risk individuals and show how to help them.

Munster and Connacht first-team players have already undergone the specialised Question, Persuade and Refer training at their provincial bases.

"Console's training highlights three simple steps that anyone can quickly learn to help save a life from suicide," IRUPA player development manager Marcus Horan said.

"A lot of the guys would now be confident that they may be able to spot the signs of someone in potential crisis.

"The thing about professional sport is that no matter what's going on at home or in your own life, the minute you walk through the doors you have to switch on a persona. It shouldn't be the case, but, in reality, it is," he added.

IRUPA chief executive, Omar Hassanien, said he is delighted with the player reaction to the Console initiative.

"Mental health has always been a pillar of our player wellbeing strategy. We are delighted with the feedback from our sessions with Console," he said.

Irish Independent

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