State of Mind: Ryan Hinchcliffe

Huddersfield hooker Ryan Hinchcliffe says the strength of having his family around him helped him adapt to Super League.

Hinchcliffe was 31 when he made the move from Melbourne Storm to the Giants, and so perhaps had much more life experience than other players who come over much younger.

But moving his life to the other side of the world was still a difficult challenge.

This year’s State of Mind, which takes place in Round 18 from June 8th to June 11th round looks at the pressures of loss – be it a relationship, a job, income, a home or a bereavement, and how people can deal with it.

He said: “It’s a real change coming over and playing in this competition. The weather of course, it’s a different competition, it’s a different team, different team mates.

“For me, I feel like I’ve got a very good wife and two kids and I think wherever you are in the world, if you’ve got them, you’ll be alright.

“It does take a lot of adapting but if you’ve got a good support staff around you and a good club around you, that makes all the difference.”

Hinchcliffe played just shy of 200 games in the NRL for Storm and Canberra Raiders, and they now have a fully-fledged State of Mind Down Under too.

He added: “I think it’s very important, in society to be honest, but especially in our game. It can be a high pressure environment, especially for young kids coming through.

“For them to understand themselves and have a bit of awareness around their wellbeing, I’m a big advocate for, and the more education they have can only benefit them.

“I think it’s a really important campaign that all the players need to get behind. To have that awareness around the wellbeing and State of Mind can only benefit the game and benefit the youth, and have a positive impact on everyone involved.”

Male suicides are three times higher than females, and 6,188 deaths by suicide were recorded in England and Wales in 2015, though many regard this as a significant underestimate.

Hinchcliffe added: “I think it’s a stigma that’s slowly getting broken down. I don’t think as males you’ll ever completely break it down, but I think it’s something now that people understand.

“It’s not weak to speak up and speak your mind, it’s the opposite, you have to be very brave to speak your mind and tell people if you’re doing it a bit tough.

“The more education people and players can get on it, it’ll have a positive impact and if it only helps a few people then it’s well worth doing.”

Huddersfield travel to Perpignan to face Catalan Dragons in the State of Mind round on Saturday.

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