©Press Eye/Darren Kidd

Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich launched Tackle Your Feelings App earlier this year encouraging people to take a proactive approach to their mental wellbeing.

Today, at the beginning of the 2018/19 rugby season, Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich have renewed their call to get the nation to adopt a more proactive approach to mental wellbeing as part of their Tackle Your Feelings campaign.

Ulster scrum half John Cooney who cemented his place as a firm fans favourite in the 2017/18 season has taken the opportunity to share his views on being proactive and mindful in his approach to mental wellbeing. Commenting on the Tackle Your Feelings App, Irish rugby international John Cooney said:

“I’m delighted to be backing Rugby Players Ireland and the Tackle Your Feelings Campaign.

I am one of a number of Irish players who have backed the Tackle Your Feelings App by being part of it and I really rate how the App allows users to check in with how they are feeling and most importantly gives really useful resources to maintain their mental well-being.”

 As a professional rugby player mental wellbeing is critical on and off the pitch, but it isn’t just something professional athletes need to take care of, we all need to take note of how we are doing and find little ways to help us be proactive.”

The Tackle Your Feelings App aims to encourage users to be proactive about their mental wellbeing using sport psychology and positive psychology principles. It encourages users to prioritise their mental wellbeing in the same way as their nutrition and taking exercise, instead of waiting for a problem to manifest before taking action. Users are guided through an engaging ‘Training Camp’ programme, which will help to develop their self-awareness while offering a chance to try out different strategies to improve their mental and emotional wellbeing.

As a key feature of the Tackle Your Feelings App a number of leading Irish international and provincial rugby players including Iain Henderson, Jack McGrath, and Bundee Aki have shared videos of their own tips and techniques, a unique insight into how they maintain their mental wellbeing and mentally prepare for rugby matches. Over 25 rugby players are using their profiles to support the new App and encourage people to take steps to prioritise their mental wellbeing.

The tools and techniques featured in the Tackle Your Feelings App specifically help users to improve their Optimism, Resilience, Confidence, Satisfaction, Relaxation, Happiness and Relationships. Users can then go on to explore some of the techniques that work best for them, taking positive steps towards safeguarding their mental wellbeing into the future. Through setting goals and reflecting on their progress, users can expect to learn how to maximise their mental wellbeing and gain confidence in using practical strategies to help them do so.

Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland said: “The team at Zurich is delighted to support the Tackle Your Feelings app.  We wholeheartedly support the message that people don’t need to be facing a challenge or crisis to work on their mental wellbeing. By being honest with themselves about how they are feeling and proactively taking steps every day to look after their mental wellbeing, people can experience greater enjoyment and satisfaction in life.  It’s great to see so many influential Irish rugby players sharing their own personal tips and insights to inspire and help others.”

Speaking about the Tackle Your Feelings App, Simon Keogh, CEO, Rugby Players Ireland, said: “Rugby Players Ireland is proud to be partnering with Zurich for the Tackle Your Feelings campaign to promote a very important health message. The App is a vital part of our campaign which has seen many of Ireland’s most well-known rugby players talk openly about their own mental wellbeing to inspire a more open dialogue and break down stigma. Professional athletes don’t wait until their performance drops to work on their mental game and by incorporating a combination of mental wellbeing and sports psychology strategies we believe the App will enable people of all ages to be more proactive about their mental wellbeing.”

A nationwide campaign, Tackle Your Feelings aims to impart the message that people don’t need to be facing a challenge or crisis to work on their mental wellbeing. The campaign has previously seen provincial and international rugby stars including Leinster, Ireland and Lions front-row, Jack McGrath; Irish women’s player, Hannah Tyrrell; Ulster quartet Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy, Stuart McCloskey and Andrew Trimble; former Munster Scrum Half, Cathal Sheridan; former Irish international flanker Shane Jennings and former Connacht & current Bristol Rugby coach Pat Lam come forward to talk about their own personal mental wellbeing.

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