Scaling what works

Scaling what works

Rugby League Cares has secured funding that will enable the charity to deliver its hugely successful mental fitness programme, Offload to men working in the construction industry.

The delivery is being made possible by a grant from the men’s health charity Movember’s ‘Scaling What Works’ initiative, which aims to supercharge mental health programmes that have shown real promise in improving mental health and wellbeing for young boys and men, across community or workplace settings.

Since its launch in 2017, Offload has made a positive difference to the mental wellbeing of over 30,000 people and been hailed as an example of best practice for community mental health programmes.

Offload sessions are delivered by former and current professional Rugby League players with lived experience of low level mental health conditions. This makes the programme content more relatable to men.

RL Cares Health Project Manager Wendy Barr said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver Offload ‘fixtures’ to men working in an industry which experiences disproportionately high levels of mental health issues.

“Offload has already helped hundreds of men who work in construction to manage their mental fitness and build the coping mechanisms to become, and stay happier and healthier.

“This funding from Movember will enable us to further break down the stigmas around mental wellbeing by given construction workers access to all the benefits that Offload brings.”

A published analysis of ONS data in September 2021 showed that for every 100,000 construction workers, 30 died by suicide. This is significantly higher than any other industry, and almost double the national male suicide rate of 15.4 deaths per 100,000.

One third of all workers who are self-employed or work for a small firm live with elevated anxiety levels. Unskilled and low-paid workers have a suicide rate of 73 suicides per 100,000; the rate for non-manual colleagues is less than five per 100,000.

The award builds on the successful partnership between Movember and RL Cares, who delivered the Movember Ahead of the Game programme to thousands of young players, coaches, volunteers and parents as part of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter.

We are currently recruiting construction companies to join this fantastic opportunity: if you work in construction and would like to know more about the Offload programme, please contact our Partnerships Manager Nav Uppal