Match Fit: Rugby legend reveals mental health struggles

Match Fit quickly won over fans with its premise

Match Fit: Rugby legend reveals mental health struggles

The latest episode of reality tv show Match Fit was praised yesterday, as legendary coach Sir Henry Graham opened up about personal mental health struggles.

Match Fit quickly won over fans with its premise of taking former All Blacks players and training them up for ‘one last game’.

And while the show had plenty of laughs, it also served as an ideal reminder on the importance of safeguarding mental health.

Coach Henry Graham revealed that he’d suffered from depression – admitting he should have taken time to look after his own health.

“The biggest worry of professional coaches these days is the mental wellbeing of their players. We know about strength and conditioning training, but we don’t know a lot about mental fitness.

“I’ve been very lucky. I’ve got a fantastic wife and she was hugely supportive – because I had some mental wellbeing problems when I was coaching. I had depression.”

Graham was asked to coach the British Lions after coaching Wales – he admits he “should have said he was too busy”.

“I thought I was bulletproof,” he added.

“After the Lions tour, I hit the wall. I didn’t know I had depression, I just didn’t want to do the job anymore.”

Graham resigned to “get out of the heat”. He took time to read more, exercise, speak to his friends and generally get away from the pressures of work.

The lessons he learned here, on how to handle mental health struggles, were ones he carried on using throughout his career.

If you or one of your employees is struggling with mental health issues – it’s so important to foster open communication. Together, organizations can help rid the stigma around mental wellbeing and, potentially, save lives in the process.

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