MENTAL FITNESS INITIATIVE LAUNCHED BY IRFU WITH PIETA HOUSE

BUDDY SUPPORT PROGRAMME ENCOURAGES EVERYONE TO LOOK OUT FOR EACH-OTHER

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Pieta House, last week launched a new club-focused mental fitness initiative, ‘Mind Ur Buddy’, which will educate and equip club members to spot the signs when someone is in suicidal crisis.  The scheme will train nominated club members to support their peers in overcoming personal issues with the overall aim of reducing the potential for self-harm and suicide.

The initiative will provide clubs with a direct link to Pieta House services with designated members being the point of contact between a person in distress and Pieta House.

Piloted in 12 clubs during the 2013/14 season the programme with see 70 clubs offered the opportunity to undertake Pieta House training workshops during the 2014/15 season, with every club having the opportunity to undertake the training and support service by the end of 2017.

In its simplest form the programme will deliver structure, training and help for those people who are already the ‘go-to’ person in their clubs.  Clubs will identify a number of ‘Buddies’, across all age groups, who will undertake Pieta House training, to provide them with the confidence to assist those who are experiencing issues which could be impacting their mental health and wellbeing.

Those who wish to make a €4 donation to Pieta House can do so by texting PH4 to 50300.   100% of donation goes to Pieta House across most network providers.  Some providers apply VAT, which means a minimum of €3.25 will go to Pieta House.  Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline 0766805278

Launching the initiative Head Coach, Joe Schmidt, said:

“Having come from a club background I know the support that club members provide each other.  It is fantastic that Pieta House and the IRFU have developed a programme that can bring a little more confidence to the leaders or Buddies that people, of all ages, look up to and confide in.”

Pieta House Founder Joan Freeman said,

“Just like a team, together we are stronger.  We are delighted to work with the IRFU’s clubs to offer a support service directly to those who are already fulfilling a role as a ‘go-to’ person within their club.  Some of the most vulnerable people are young men and these are our sons, brothers and friends playing sports like rugby.  Working with clubs we hope to equip people with the services they need to help those who are experiencing personal issues which could result in self-harm or suicidal crisis.”

For more information on the Mind Ur Buddy programme visit www.mindourmen.ie/mind-ur-buddy/

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