State of Mind: Stefan Ratchford

Warrington full-back Stefan Ratchford says letting out over a simple cup of coffee can have such a telling impact to someone’s life.

This week is Super League’s annual State of Mind round, and this year it 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.

Ratchford’s club have been at the forefront of mental fitness, hosting the regular State of Mind operational meetings as well as several fundraising events.

They are also one of the three clubs – together with Widnes and Salford – who are currently running the hugely successful Offload pilot programme with Rugby League Cares.

Ratchford said: “I think it’s a brilliant cause. A lot of people used to see it as a bit of a weakness and people were too proud to speak out.

“But it can affect anyone in any walk of life. You can think someone’s the happiest person in the world, but you don’t know what’s going on.

“If they can just give someone a bit of a nudge and have a word and say maybe I’m struggling a little bit. It’s only a coffee and a couple of words, but the affects on helping someone can be massive.”

The State of Mind round gets underway with Leigh against Wigan in front of the Sky Sports TV cameras on Thursday night.

Warrington travel to Castleford for their Round 18 game on Sunday, where the State of Mind marquee and volunteers will be present and on hand to offer any support and advice.

State of Mind was established in 2011 in response to the tragic death of Terry Newton, to raise awareness of mental health issues, tackle stigma and signpost support to rugby league players and fans.

No other sport in the UK has ever had a themed round of fixtures for mental wellbeing – 2017 is the seventh year State of Mind has “taken over Super League”.

This year’s themed round takes place on the weekend of Round 18, June 8th to 11th, and the following games: Leigh v Wigan (Thu), St Helens v Widnes (Fri), Salford v Hull, Wakefield v Leeds (Sat), Catalans v Huddersfield (Sat), Castleford v Warrington (Sun).

Ten ways to look after your State of Mind are: Talk about your feelings; Eat well; Keep in touch; Take a break; Accept who are; Keep active; Drink sensibly; Ask for help; Do something you’re good at; Care for others.

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