State of Mind Interview: Nick Slyney

London Broncos player Nick Slyney is pleased that State of Mind is helping to raise awareness of mental health issues within rugby league.

For too long, he feels, players were encouraged to hide feelings away in case they were seen as a sign of weakness.

“I think there’s a bit more awareness than there used to be,” he told State of Mind.

“I think what State of Mind’s doing is awesome, just to create that awareness, so that players don’t feel ashamed to speak out about their feelings, which has been frowned upon in the past.

“In the past there haven’t been any support networks for players.

“They haven’t had anyone to turn to. There’s someone now that players can talk to, and it definitely helps.”

Slyney also advises young players to speak out when they have a problem, and not to be ashamed.

There are usually networks and people in place at clubs who can help, such as player welfare officers, while simply talking to a friend can help players feel better too.

“They should contact the State of Mind people, they’re always there to help, and there are always avenues within clubs as well, like player welfare,” he said.

“You’re guaranteed that if you tell them something private, they’re going to keep it that way.

“So just try not to be ashamed of speaking out, because there’s always people who are willing to listen.

“The most important thing is just telling someone. If you don’t tell anyone, then no one else knows.

“Even if it’s just your best mate, a problem shared is a problem halved.”

State of Mind takes over Super League in Round 25 for the games on the weekend of August 28-31. Look out for volunteers providing information on mental health at all grounds across the weekend.

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