The Get Talkin’ tour has kicked off and we’re super pumped to get amongst more regional NSW towns over the next two weeks.
We’ve once again teamed up with the legends at NSW Waratahs and the NSW Positive Rugby Foundation to engage with local rugby clubs, high schools and community members, and start positive conversations about mental health.
Along with learning how to reach out and support those around you, locals will get the chance to play some touch footy with the Waratahs and grab a free feed.
Our first two stops on the tour were at Terrigal and Newcastle. Such incredible communities!
Today, we’re at Maitland Rugby Club before making the trip up to:
- Quirindi: Tuesday 29 July
- Tamworth: Wednesday 30 July
- Armidale: Thursday 1 August
“We love working with regional communities and experiencing the passion they have for
supporting each other,” batyr general manager Nic Brown said.
“This tour gives us the opportunity to enhance that support, providing tools and resources that the whole community can get behind.”
We really want to make long-lasting connections and impacts in regional NSW, Nic added.
One in five Aussies will experience a mental health condition in any given year and the odds worsen for those living in regional areas which commonly deal with severe weather events such as drought and flooding.
A person living in rural and remote NSW is twice as likely to die as a result of suicide as a person living in Sydney.
Olympian and former Waratahs loose forward Pat McCutcheon lives in the bush and has witnessed the hardship currently gripping rural areas.
The drought has had a massive impact, not just on farmers but townships as well.
Rugby is a way of bringing families and communities together through social inclusion and a sense of connection. This provides a powerful environment for coming together to talk things out and to provide care and support.
“Get Talkin’ isn’t a fly-in, fly-out program,” Pat said.
“It’s a three-year plan that starts with a conversation, builds first aid and mental health officers and then upskills those officers to become trainees.”
“We want to empower the community to provide a service for themselves and their people.”
“The local community becomes self-sufficient, they’re able to help one another and people
within their rugby club and greater community. We want to leave them with a legacy.”
batyr regional community coordinator Amy Devrell and Tamworth local said that while events like drought play a huge role in mental health, Get Talkin’ was also about shifting the culture to break down existing stigma.
“It’s a really incredible opportunity to bring more positive messages and literacy about mental health to regional and rural communities across the state,” she said.
“It’s really important for me, on a personal level, to be able to give communities some really practical strategies when times get tough.”
To find out more and to register to attend one of these events, check out the Get Talkin’ page.