// NZ RUGBY WORLD // june/july 2015
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MENtal WEllBEiNg
pdM’S picK up
Mental wellbeinG
z’s rugBy’s netwOrk Of PersOnal
develOPment managers dOn’t Have
all tHe answers But tHanks tO
a cOmPreHensive recent mental
HealtH and well-Being cOurse - featuring
fictiOnal scenariOs like maakas - tHey’re
nOw mOre equiPPed tO ask sOme Pertinent
The course, run by Blueprint for Learning and the
Ministry of Health, aims to help frontline support
staff recognise, relate and respond to people
experiencing mental illness and fitting it in to the
two-day National PDM conference was an ideal
“It was quite enlightening,” Hawke’s Bay PDM
Aayden Clarke explained. “These are the sort
of subjects people usually just skip over but we
dug into some deep stuff on the course, using
people with real-life experiences. Some of those
scenarios were quite close to home and we can
relate to them really easily.
We’re never going to become professionals,
who can handle this sort of thing in one day but to
be able to identify it and put some actions in place
is really valuable.”
Course facilitators Rachel Stephenson and Egan
Bidois ran through some of the statistics relating
to mental illness in New Zealand, with addiction,
Maaka is a young player on
the rise, with firm prospects
of a professional contract
and a proud family banking
on his success.
Lately, however, he hasn’t
been himself. Withdrawn,
moody – and even telling
academy teammates he’s
sick of rugby and wants to
take a break.
Is Maaka feeling familial
pressure? Is he just going
through a rough patch? Or
is there something more
serious going on?