WEB EXCLUSIVE: State of Mind Co-Founder Malcolm Rae Reveals Theme Ahead of Sky’s Rugby League Weekend

Malcolm Rae, co-founder of State of Mind Sport, exclusively revealed this year’s theme for the charity’s Sky partnered weekend to The Match.

The charity, commonly referred to as State of Mind, was created in 2011 following the death of Terry Newton, who had taken his own life after he was banned for taking performance enhancing drugs.

The public health campaign aims to prevent suicide and is targeted particularly at men, who stereotypically have problems opening up and talking about their feelings.

Since it was founded, the charity has worked in partnership with Sky Sports to dedicate a weekend of rugby league fixtures to raising awareness of mental health issues within the sport.

“Uniquely, this is a world first, we have one weekend of fixtures dedicated to State of Mind by Sky Sports,” Rae explained.

“The players wear our T-Shirts to warm up in. It is in the programme and the ball boys and ball girls wear our T-shirts.

“We give out information cards about tackling stigma and where to go for support. We try and engage people in conversation.

Rae has been pleased with the impact of the campaign and the partnership with Sky.

He feels that the partnership has helped grow the State of Mind brand, saying: “We have had some dramatic feedback where some people have said: ‘This was going to be my last rugby league game, I was going to take my life after this match but now I have spoken to State of Mind my outlook has changed’.

“When you get feedback like that it is great. It shows the power of the campaign and Sky has had. I’m so pleased with our partnership.”

This year the weekend-long event will take place in the 18th round of fixtures over the seventh to the ninth of June.

Each year, State of Mind choose a different theme for their weekend with Sky and address a specific factor that contributes to poor mental health.

This year, the theme will be ‘loss’ and State of Mind aim to get people to talk about their issues following bereavement.

He said: “This year’s theme in this years dedicated round of fixtures is going to be ‘loss’, with our catch phrase being ‘Let It Out.’

“It is catchy and hopefully we are going to use the chorus from Tears for Fear song ‘Shout’.

“Bereavement is one of the worst contributors to poor mental health and we aim to tackle it this year in June.”

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