'Kick Off'
 'Tackling Mental Health for Rugby League'
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 Kick Off...Mental Health for Rugby League

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Despite the seriousness of 'Mental Health', it doesn't mean you can't enjoy a bit of a laugh. 

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Mental Health does not mean 'mental illness'; just as Physical Health does not automatically insinuate  'physical ill-health or disease'

The area of 'Mental Health' is misunderstood by many, if not most, of the population and there is certainly variable awareness & comprehension among differing groups within society;  professions, occupations, sports, media etc. When the topic of 'Mental Health' is raised, there can be an immediate conscious &/or unconscious response that is erroneous or distorted, based on these misperceptions.

Mental Health is NOT simply about 'Mental Illness' (insanity, madness, mental weakness) or those colloquial & archaic notions of 'mental retardation', 'lunacy', 'nervous breakdowns', 'nerves', 'peculiar interpretations of schizophrenia' or its misperception as 'multiple personality'. It is about EVERYTHING that originates in the 'mind & brain' of the individual relating to mood, emotions, feelings, thoughts, beliefs; be they 'well' & functional; or 'unwell' & incapacitated or afflicted, to varying degrees.

Just as with your physical health, there is no implication in this phrase of 'illness'; it simply refers to an area of existence, a state of being (the physical aspect). As such, we consider our 'physical health' when it is spoken about; we weigh ourselves, re-assess & sometimes modify our diet; have regular medical checkups; we attempt to quit smoking, cut down our drinking, do a bit of excercise & improve our fitness; maybe even join a gym or undertake a dietary regime. The concept of 'physical health' is embraced by most.

There is no difference within the area of 'Mental Health', however the age-old stigma of illness & weakness hangs like a 'dark cloud' over the subject still. We are beginning to accept the notion of Depression and maybe Bipolar Disorder (given the coverage of the illness in recent times); we might also acknowledge 'anxiety' as problem, yet the vast majority of mental health 'maintenance' issues continue to be ignored. 

We dont' see behaviour as relating to mental health; we tend not to look at Drug & Alcohol use & abuse as connected; we've not developed a concept of Personality Disorders, Developmental Processes, Coping Skills, Problem Solving, Abuse, Relationships and so on as being in any way related to 'Mental Health & Well-Being'; That is until something goes wrong; then we might act. Unfortunately, if we accepted and embraced the concept when well, with frequent assessment & evaluation, appraisal & awareness, we would go a long way to averting many of the problems that arise; - pre-emptively and more effectively.

'Mental Health' should, at the very least, be on an equal footing with respect to exposure, education & focus, with that of 'Physical Health'. In fact, it should be considered FIRST, given the plethora of information confirming or supporting the direct correlation between the two spheres & the proven effects mental health can have on your physical well-being.

One of the primary aims of our society & culture, government, organisations that engage or involve human beings as employees and the individual themselves, should be education regarding Mental Health, the heightened awareness of those elements that pertain to this area, destigmatisation of the illnesses, disorders & conditions it involves and an acceptance of a need to 'know more'. By doing this you will enahnce your life and those close to you; and be able to be of genuine, sincere assistance to others who may succumb to mental 'ill-health' sometime in their life.

The player's section of the 'Kick Off' site is designed for the player (or other related Rugby League individual) to more easily access the information contained within; that which might be considered more relevant to needs, problems and associated aspects of the sport. We hope that it will prove beneficial in raising the awareness of 'Mental Health' and the problems that might arise by providing useful information for educational and personal needs. It is not restricted to merely the player and can be of significant assistance to anyone associated with the game or even those who are concerned or interested in the welfare of the league and its participants.


 Site Navigation

Website Navigation


Below are 'quick links' to pages of the 'Kick Off' website that will assist in those areas particularly relevant to you as a participant of 'Rugby League'. You may choose to go through the usual links as noted on the 'home page', however we find that these are particularly helpful & provide an effective and useful means of accessing information that is more 'targeted' toward your needs. The Main titles  'photo' provide the initial 'overall' link and those noted underneath in 'blue' script denote related pages of information, or those that might be considered 'connected'. Which ever method you choose, we believe the content will give you a helping hand and a 'good start' in your journey of discovery regarding yourself & your mental health. We hope you might glean some assistance or enlightenment with any issues of concern you might have. If you do not; please contact us so that we might be able to help you further. Similarly, you may contact another associated agency or organisation; or clinician that might be of assistance.

Quick Links


Bipolar Disorder  




Problem Solving 






     Bipolar Disorder             Depression                 Alcohol                   Problem Solving

                  Drugs                                   Injury & depression                      Binge Drinking                                 Self Esteem

                   Alcohol                                Alcohol & depression                    Facts & Statistics

                  Psychosis                            Retirement & depression 

                  Depression                          Concussion & depression





 Self Esteem





             Drugs                       Suicide                   Behaviour                  Self Esteem

            Marijuana                          Self harm & 'Para suicide'          Code of Conduct                                 'Parents'

                   Cocaine                                Facts & Statistics                       Biochemical Factors                             Narcissism 

         Ecstasy                                                                                Drugs & Behaviour                               Education

 Methamphetamines                                                                      Alcohol & Behaviour

 Prescription Drugs                                                                            'Self Control'









       Assessement           Relationships                   Abuse                            Multimedia

       Depression Assessment                  Narcissism                               Drugs/Alcohol                                      Videos

           Alcohol Assessment                     Self Esteem                                  Anxiety                                       News Articles

        Player Personality Profile                                                           Personality Disorders                        Print Media Articles

            Bipolar Assessment                                                                        Parents                                   Mental Health links

     Self Esteem 'self' Assessment


Steps toward a 'better life'

Basic Principles




  • Relationships – work hard at maintaining all your relationships – with your wife/partner, friends, team-mates, acquaintances, employers, employees etc. Strong healthy relationships are the lifeblood of sound mental health and one of the first areas to suffer when mental illness strikes. 


  • Communication - Communication is vital. Talking to someone about your problems; expressing your thoughts & emotions is cathartic & ‘health giving’. ‘Bottling it all up’ will not necessarily work, given you are using the same ‘troubled mind’ to try and sort out your ‘troubled mind’. It doesn’t make sense does it? Sometimes you can manage to ‘work through’ your issues of concern, however if you are struggling and finding it ineffective, you need to seek out someone you can confide in and with whom you are able to ‘let it all out’. 


  • Alcohol  Avoid excessive use of alcohol & the use of alcohol to temporarily cope with life’s stressors. It is one of the most potentially damaging of the poor coping mechanisms used, because of its general social acceptance. 


  • Drugs – Abstain from illicit drugs use. There are no positive results to be achieved. The use & abuse of illicit drugs will only make your problems worse &/or create a raft of new ones. Use prescription medication as ordered & directed by your doctor. 


  • Be a Mate – look after those guys in the club that you rely on and who rely on you. Try not to encourage behaviour that superficially might seem amusing, though detrimental and damaging in the long term. 


  • Plan for the Future – Make preparation for your retirement from the game. Do this well before you anticipate retiring. Look at your social needs, financial needs & psychological needs when planning your future, away from active participation as a player.  


  • Develop your problem solving skills – Many of the precipitants to mental illness, particularly depression, are as a result of difficulty in the area of problem solving. Your capacity to address & confront issues of concern will contribute significantly to the maintenance of sound mental health. 


  • Get to know yourself - (be comfortable with who you are, where you’re going and where you’re at). 


  • Self Assessment - It is essential that we examine ourselves, our thinking, our problem solving, our behaviour & our attitude to life & those around us. This occurs as a combination of our own mental processes, the views & opinions of others we are close to and/or trust and professionals in the field of mental health, if that becomes necessary. It is a time for sincere honesty & can be considered somewhat ‘self-confrontational’ & disturbing. 


  • *Parents – responsibilities:- Always be aware that your child/children require as ‘normal’ an upbringing as possible & the opportunity to experience the usual ‘ups & downs’ of ‘growing up’. The balance between their sporting aspirations & dreams and their childhood & adolescent needs has to be recognized and encouraged. 


  • Apply the Principles – Honesty, Commitment, Communication, Effort, Respect & Responsibility. 






©2008 Waldel Pty Ltd

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Michael J. Salamon, Ph.D., FICPP
Senior Psychologist/Director
ADC Psychological Services, PLLC
1728 Broadway, Suite 1
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