In this podcast, we reflect on changing attitudes to mental health with New Zealand Rugby’s Education and Wellbeing Manager, Dr Nathan Price.
(If for some reason this doesn’t play, you can access it directly on Soundcloud).
Over the last two and 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. 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.
Our guest – Nathan Price
Dr Nathan Price is the Education and Wellbeing Manager at New Zealand Rugby.
Nathan and his team are responsible for the learning and development, education, and mental health and wellbeing programmes for players as well as staff and those involved in the wider rugby community. One of Nathan’s current areas of focus is the implementation of NZ Rugby’s mental health and wellbeing programme – HeadFirst, which aims to reduce stigma, create safe environments and support players and staff to overcome stress, maintain their mental wellbeing and find support for themselves and others.
Prior to this role, Nathan was the Manager of the National Athlete Career and Education Programme at the Australian Institute of Sport and previous to that he completed his PhD investigating how to prepare elite athletes for a future beyond sport.
For more information on HeadFirst, visit: www.headfirst.co.nz
To join the Wellness Champions Network, click here.