It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health illness each year in the UK. For these people, the pressures and strains of life and work can act as a catalyst to mental health problems, with the most common being depression and anxiety.

The links between good physical health and mental health are well recognised. Playing rugby provides physical benefits which in turn is beneficial for mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health: Good Practice in Rugby

The Supporting Mental Health in Rugby webinar was held on 12th Feb 2020, it aimed to increase awareness on what mental health guidance and support is available across the community game and included models of good practice from Gloucestershire, Lancashire and Durham whose initiatives support local clubs and players.

To watch the webinar please click below.


The RFU have teamed up with Mind, one of the leading mental health charities in England and Wales, to provide information and guidance for anyone involved in rugby who may be dealing with mental health problems and those supporting them.

The RFU is also a signatory of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation, promoting and adopting good mental health policies and best practice.

There are some great examples of locally driven mental health projects supporting players, coaches and clubs. Please contact your local RDO or CB RugbySafe Lead to find out about initiates in your area.

Mind’s Information and Support section provides information on the services and resources they offer.

Mind offer Urgent Help Advice for anyone needing it.

Mind provide support for coaches and physical activity providers including a Sport and physical activity toolkit that provides specific information and guidance for clubs and coaches.

There is a network of around 130 local Minds across England and Wales that offer specialised support and care based on the needs of the communities they support.

Mind’s Infoline offers callers confidential help and information.

t: 0300 123 3393

How Clubs and Coaches can support someone with mental health problems

To help prevent problems developing, clubs and coaches can play a key role in promoting good mental health and wellbeing.

The video on the right, produced by Mind, UK Coaching and Public Health England provides guidance on how coaches can promote mental good mental health through their coaching.

UK Coaching’s Mental Health in Coaching Guidance has some useful information on the role coaches play in supporting others, emotionally as well as physically. It highlights the impact that this can have on a coach’s own mental health and provides guidance on how coaches can understand and maintain their own mental health.


The support of a coach, team mates and others can play an important role in supporting someone who has mental health problems.

Time to Change aims to promote awareness and improve the perception of dealing with mental health illnesses. There is a wealth of information and a number of useful resources including the In Your Corner campaign, which specifically encourages men and young people to be more open and supportive of those fighting a mental health problem.


CBs, clubs, schools, colleges and universities may want to arrange Mental Health Training for coaches, staff, volunteers, players etc. There are a number of reputableorganisations and charities that offer training such as the Mental Health First Aid courses.

When organising courses always check that the trainer delivering the course is appropriately qualified and that the content is relevant for the attendees.

Mind runs mental health courses:

General Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity

Organisations including StreetGames and Mental Health First Aid England run courses aimed at coaches, staff and other volunteers working with young people.

Mental Health First Aid England courses

StreetGames Youth Mental Health First Aid course

Other sources of information and support

NHS Mental Health Services

The NHS provide general information on Mental Health and services that are available. Please visit the NHS Mental Health Services for more information.

NHS Mental Health Services

Young Minds

Young Minds is a charity specifically focused on promoting positive mental health in children and young people. They offers good resources, especially for families who are concerned about their children.

Young Minds

Student Minds

Student Minds is a charity that works with students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others and create change.

Student Minds

The Lift the Weight

The Lift the Weight campaign supports professional players who can experience a unique set of pressure, having to deal with the intense demands of performing in an elite environment week in week out.

Lift the weight


Childline is especially for children. A free, private and confidential service where children can talk about anything, whatever their worry, whenever it is needed. There are a number of useful resources and valuable advice on the Childline website.

Tel: 0800 1111 (Free 24-hour number)


The Samaritans

The Samaritans are available for anyone who needs them.  They provide a confidential, non-judgemental and safe environment for people to talk about concerns and issues thy are having.

Tel: 116 123