Ray Ertl Memorial Match Headlines State of Mind Round
The fifth annual Ray Ertl Memorial Cup match to be played between Doveton and the North West Wolves at Betula Reserve will headline this weekend’s NRL Victoria State of Mind Round.
Ray Ertl was a former Doveton and Wolves player who sadly lost his battle with mental illness a few years ago.
The annual match and State of Mind round aims to reduce stigma, increase mental health literacy, stimulate help seeking behaviour and empower the local Rugby League community to take ownership of the mental health and wellbeing of their communities.
1 in 5 people are affected by mental illness throughout their lives and at the crisis end, suicide is the number one killer of individuals aged 15-44.
NRL Victoria is working together with the NRL by facilitating the State of Mind Round in the aim to encourage players, clubs and communities to speak up and seek help if they are experiencing any form of difficulty or difference in their mood.
State of Mind ambassador and NRL star Darius Boyd stressed the importance of people speaking up about the issue.
“Mental illness can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Its not a Rugby League issue, it’s a society issue”
“Its important that we all work together to encourage people of all ages to speak out when they feel vulnerable” Boyd said.
And coming together is what this weekend’s Ray Ertl Memorial Cup will be all about with both teams joining forces to help create the event.
Doveton coach Shane Wisnesky spoke glowingly of the initiative that has helped raise State of Mind awareness across the last few years in the NRL Victoria First Grade Competition.
“To be able to come together and play with good spirit is really important”
“It means a lot to our boys and they enjoy playing against the Wolves for the trophy. Obviously a lot of them played with and knew Ray,” he said.
“Two teams coming together for this initiative is great” the Steelers coach added.
To learn more about this program or if you know anyone that needs support, visit www.nrlstateofmind.com.au