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Contact: Ian ‘Joe’ Miller, Mental Health Service, Hunter New England Local Health District Ph. 02 67678683 Email

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International Legends of League ‘Teaming up for better health’
Contact: Ian ‘Joe’ Miller, Mental Health Service, Hunter New England Local Health District Ph. 02 67678683 Email:
Location: Hunter New England Local Health District
Timeframe: 2015-2016
Aim: To provide access to positive social opportunities, health education, and fundraising to support local mental health promoting initiatives.

  • Form a partnership with International Legends of League and key stakeholders to host Legends of League NRL games and associated community activities in Tamworth.

  • Partner with local service providers to engage with the community in health education activities at the Legends of League NRL games.

  • Partner with local schools to offer education sessions delivered in collaboration with Legends of League players (including Aboriginal players) on health, exercise, goals and the ability to bounce back from setbacks and to thrive on successes.

  • To utilise funds raised by the Legends of League NRL game to support future local mental health promotion and prevention of mental ill-health initiatives.

Target Group/s: General community, including engaging the local Aboriginal community.
Key Partners: International Legends of League, Mental Health Promotion & Prevention Service – Hunter New England Local Health District, Tamworth Regional Council, Rotary, North Tamworth Rugby League Football Club, local businesses, local schools (primary – Hillvue, Westdale, Oxley Vale; high school – Peel, Tamworth, Farrer).
Milestones and Outcomes:

  • International Legends of League event hosted in Tamworth during March 2015 resulting in:

  • Funding of $3300 raised through the charity rugby league game to support future mental health and wellbeing focused programs / projects for the local community. 12 interviews were filmed with consenting event attendees which included discussion about ‘what they do to look after their own wellbeing’. These interviews will be available for use as part of future local programs / projects. The charity game event also enabled dissemination of mental health and wellbeing related information via conversation and take home bags of information resources to approximately 90 attendees of varying ages and their families. Suggestions for how to take care of your mental health / stress less were documented on a canvas artwork by 68 event attendees, to be displayed within a HNEMHS client waiting area;

  • Networks have been established with high-profile Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athletes (Robbie O’Davis, Nathan Blacklock, David Peachey, Stu Kelly) to work together on future mental health promotion and prevention initiatives, including sharing personal experiences of mental ill-health and recovery;

  • A range of positive media coverage (print, TV, radio) across Tamworth and surrounding regions featuring discussion of mental health, mental illness and Mental Health Services;

  • Presentations provided by International Legends of League and MHP&PS representatives for 6 local schools (3 primary, 3 high schools) engaging staff and students in discussion on how to take care of physical and mental health.

Future Directions:

  • Commence planning for 2016 local International Legends of League event.

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