Mans foot kicking positioned to kick a rugby ball on a field.
Movember unites with New Zealand Rugby and Te Aka Whai Ora for change.Image by: Supplied
Mans foot kicking positioned to kick a rugby ball on a field.
30 May 2023

Revolutionising mental health: Movember and New Zealand Rugby unite for change

3 minutes read time

Movember proudly unveils an unprecedented partnership between New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Te Aka Whai Ora, the Māori Health Authority, aiming to revolutionise mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand communities by expanding NZR's renowned program, Mind. Set. Engage. - across five regions. Together, they are committed to destigmatising mental health, marking a new era of support and empowerment, and celebrating the invaluable contributions of Movember's dedicated community.

Transforming mental health through sport

Mark Robinson, CEO of NZR, firmly believes in the profound impact that rugby can have on the mental health and well-being of Kiwis. This pioneering partnership between NZR and Movember unites their shared dedication to becoming a force for good in New Zealand, harnessing the power of sport to promote positive change.

Breaking barriers, changing lives

With one in two New Zealanders experiencing a mental health issue in their lifetime, the success of the Mind. Set. Engage. program is both inspiring and crucial. By reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, this program encourages individuals to seek help and support one another, fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and resilience.

Pioneering shifts in mental health

Riana Manuel, CEO of Te Aka Whai Ora, recognises the transformative potential of this partnership, signalling a ground-breaking step forward for New Zealand rugby. By creating inclusive environments and challenging stigma, they aim to facilitate positive shifts in mental health and wellbeing, providing much-needed support for players, coaches, rugby staff, volunteers, and whānau.

Mind. Set. Engage. - empowering communities

Formerly known as HeadFirst, Mind. Set. Engage. is a comprehensive mental health and well-being program that equips individuals with the tools to improve their own mental well-being and support those around them. By expanding the reach of this program, Movember, NZR, and Te Aka Whai Ora empower communities to prioritise mental health and build resilience through education and support.

Making a lasting impact

Aaron Lawton, CEO of Counties Manukau Rugby Union, highlights the immense benefits of an expanded rugby-focused mental health and wellbeing program for the region. Recognising the power of rugby as a means of connection and community building, this partnership promises to leave a lasting impact on the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities in Counties Manukau and beyond.

Movember celebrates this historic partnership, made possible by the unwavering support of its dedicated community. With a 1 million (NZD) investment and the collective efforts of passionate supporters, Movember is driving positive change, improving mental health outcomes, and fostering a culture where seeking help is embraced and support is readily available. Together, we can revolutionise mental health and empower individuals and communities across New Zealand. Thank you for making a difference!

Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. One in five Kiwis experiences some form of stress, anxiety or depression. The rugby community is no different and Mind. Set. Engage. - is here to help.

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