Offload helps set new mental health awareness world record

Offload helps set new mental health awareness world record

Rugby League set a new world record this week when more than 850 people came together at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington for the world’s largest mental health awareness lesson.

Organised by State of Mind, Rugby League Cares’s Offload programme, Warrington Wolves and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the initiative secured a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The four organisations now officially hold the new world record, with a total of 857 people turning up to support the challenge. The previous world record was 688 people and was achieved in Chennai in India earlier this year.

The mental health lesson was led by Dr Phil Cooper MBE, a nurse consultant from North West Boroughs Healthcare, along with a variety of former and current Rugby League players.

During the lesson, Dr Cooper asked a series of thought-provoking questions relating to mental health, encouraging participants to lift up either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ card with their response.

In between these sessions, ambassadors from State of Mind Sport shared their personal mental health experiences and practical tips on how to manage mental fitness.

Emma Goldsmith, the Health Projects Manager for RL Cares, said: “It was great night and brilliant to break a world record while helping people learn more about mental health issues in a fun session, in a great location.”

Dr Cooper said: “What a fantastic night! The weather was brilliant, and the former players spoke from the heart about their own mental health and overcoming their problems. Sharing real life experiences to raise awareness of mental health was really powerful and brought the lesson to life.

“I feel proud to work for North West Boroughs Healthcare and State of Mind Sport, and to have the opportunity to use rugby league to reach people, raise awareness of mental health and help save lives.”

Warrington Wolves Chief Executive Karl Fitzpatrick, said: “We are proud and honoured to have been part of such a ground-breaking achievement.

“To have broken a world record here at The Halliwell Jones Stadium means a lot to this club especially with it raising awareness of such an important cause. It was fantastic to see so many people from across the town gathering to show their support and take such an interest in learning more about mental fitness.”