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As a caregiver

As a caregiver or parent you play a massive role in supporting a player during their rugby career.

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Although rugby is just one aspect of their lives, it can pose some challenges when it comes to wellbeing and mental fitness.

When faced with injury, retirement and performance pressure, the risk of experiencing mental distress, depression and anxiety increases. It is very common for young people not to seek help, even when they need it. Research tells us that our young men are the least likely to seek help, and our women are 1.5 times more likely to experience mental distress than any other group.


There are lots of things we can do to support people. These three key steps are a great place to start:

1. Identification

Knowing what to look for.

2. Action

Knowing what to do about it

3. Support for you

Knowing how to look after yourself.


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It can be really challenging to know what to look for, when to be concerned and when to take action. Check out the common signs of mental distress below as a good starting point for what to keep an eye out for:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Isolating themselves from others
  • Speaking about suicide or self-harm
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • Not taking care of their physical appearance/hygiene
  • Noticeably agitated or anxious

If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, make time to have a conversation . If you’re really concerned or you think they are at risk of harming themselves or somebody else, then you need to seek help now, click here for emergency contacts.



Knowing how to help

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Noticing concerning changes in someone you care about can be a worrying time. Remember that everyone goes through ups and downs and something as small as asking them how they are and reminding them you’re there for them is a huge help.

We know that, for young people in particular, asking for help can be extremely tough for fear of being judged, feeling abnormal or not knowing who to talk to.

Make yourself available and approachable to talk. They might not take you up on the offer straight away but knowing that they have a safe space to offload their feeling when they need to is important.

Click here to learn how to check-in with a player or person you’re worried about.

Looking after you

Looking out for others and providing support can be a challenging job. It’s easy to put you and your needs second when your focus is on helping someone else you care about. Providing the best support possible means you also need to ensure you are look after yourself too. Check out some top tips below:

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Take time out for yourself

Block out time in your week to do something you enjoy, this could be as simple as watching a movie or going for a walk.

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Fuel your body

Make sure you’re eating regular meals and avoid alcohol and processed foods as much as possible.

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Talk to others

Identify someone you trust that you can when you’ve got stuff you need to get off your chest.

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Prioritise the important things

Write a list of all the tasks you need to get done in order of importance, it’s okay to say no to things.

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Ask for help

Everyone needs a little extra help sometimes, know that it’s okay to let others help you too, this could be a professional, a support group etc.

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Get good sleep

Do your best to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night and try and stick to a consistent bedtime to give your body and mind time to recharge.