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Rugby league mental health campaign shows how to connect with hard to reach men

The Offload project delivers mental health messages through rugby league to reach men from deprived areas

The Offload project delivers mental health messages through rugby league to reach men from deprived areas

Public health and mental health services need to be designed differently to engage with men, according to the manager of a successful rugby league mental health programme.

The suicide prevention conference at the University of Salford on February 1 was told about the Offload project, a two-year pilot using current and former rugby league players to engage with men in some of the most deprived parts of England.

Run with three rugby Super League clubs in the north of England – Salford Red Devils, Widnes Vikings and Warrington Wolves – the programme has offered education on coping strategies and anger management to more than 500 men since last April.

Emma Goldsmith, health programme manager at the Rugby League Cares charity, which runs the programme,

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