Episode 3: Creating a culture that values mental health

In this podcast, we reflect on changing attitudes to mental health with New Zealand Rugby’s Education and Wellbeing Manager, Dr Nathan Price.

Over the last two and a half years, New Zealand Rugby has delivered a remarkable campaign aimed at reducing the stigma around mental health.

The campaign began in 2017 with the launch of the www.headfirst.co.nz website, which is a rich resource of videos, self-tests, and informative material. As a campaign, HeadFirst helps players, coaches, support staff and families in the rugby community to support their own wellbeing and that of others.

Since its launch, HeadFirst has quickly developed into a comprehensive programme that supports mental health and mental fitness across schools, local rugby clubs, and the wider community.

It has been as much of a cultural change project, as it has been one that encourages people to take care, ask for help and support others. HeadFirst has elevated and opened up conversations around mental health and has challenged stereotypes around mental illness and sharing vulnerability.

In this interview, Nathan reflects on the HeadFirst journey and shares some of the critical factors of success – which could be applied to any workplace.

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