A project which aims to promote mental health and wellbeing in sport, is being rolled out across rugby clubs in west Cumbria.

The Terry Newton 'Grassroots' Project is an initiative delivered by The State of Mind Sport, funded by the Decommissioning Delivery Partnership (DDP) framework, including The Decommissioning Alliance (TDA), IDS, ADAPT, i3 and CNSL.

The project, which is being delivered to rugby league and rugby union clubs across west Cumbria, involves a mental fitness and resilience session, support to identify a club mental fitness champion, accredited mental health first aid training and local support from a regional ambassador.

In collaboration with the project, Every Life Matters Cumbria will provide each club visited with suicide prevention resources.

The resource tin will contain a variety of resources aimed at those who are struggling with their current situation, to the point where they are having thoughts of suicide or urges to self-harm.

They provide information about where to get help, how to help others, how to create safety plans, and basic information about thoughts of suicide and self-harm.

The State of Mind Sport is a charity that harnesses the power of sport to promote positive mental health among sportsmen and women, fans and wider communities, and ultimately to prevent suicide.

Ste Cash, trustee and project manager, said: “State of Mind Sport is extremely proud of the support and warm reception the Terry Newton Grass Roots Project has received by the sports clubs of Cumbria.

"We believe that all clubs have a responsibility to support the health and wellbeing of their players and members as part of their health and safety duties.

"Taking a positive and proactive approach to mental fitness can help to grow players/members wellbeing and resilience and support them in fulfilling their potential. "It can help build a culture that champions mental fitness, provides a greater understanding in how to help those who need more support. It will also enhance the reputation of the club.

"Partnering with the Cumbrian charity Every Life Matters, State of Mind Sport believe this will leave a legacy of ongoing support to the region.”

Ian Alcock, community coordinator at Every Life Matters, said: “This joint project is about empowering the sporting community to start those conversations about mental health and potentially even open discussions around thoughts of suicide.

"We know that 75 per cent of suicides are men and that Cumbria’s rate is significantly higher than the national average, so it's vital work we are doing to make sure people feel equipped to have those conversations and know where to get information and support should a friend or teammate be struggling.

"This is where having access to suicide prevention resource tins could be potentially lifesaving.”

Alison Young, The Decommissioning Alliance (TDA) Resource and Social Impact Manager, said: “We are very proud to be collaborating with both charities. We have had fantastic feedback, so we know that this is already making a huge impact in West Cumbria and beyond. We are looking forward to working with them on future projects.”

The State of Mind Sport charity was established in 2011 following the tragic death of Terry Newton, former Wigan Warriors and Great Britain international rugby league player who took his own life in September, 2010.

The charity's founders were determined to prevent similar tragedies in other communities, by raising awareness of mental health concerns, tackling stigma, providing mental fitness education and resilience, and by signposting individuals and families to timely support during tough times.