TWO ex-professional rugby players visited students at West Lakes Academy to talk about mental health and the importance of speaking to others.

Former Rugby League players Danny Sculthorpe and Phil Veivers from the State of Mind charity met with students from years ten and 13.

They used their knowledge and experience as professional sportsmen and their personal experience of mental health to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

West Lakes Academy vice principal, Melissa Relph said: “We are fully committed to supporting all of our students with their mental health and wellbeing.

"This is just one event in a suite of opportunities we have to help students understand the importance of having emotional resilience and positive mental health.

“The talk was incredibly powerful and students and staff have commented how much they have taken away from it. Students were reminded about the importance of talking about their wellbeing with their trusted adults, tutor or head of year and that they are never alone.”

The talk was organised through Atkins as part of their ongoing drive to support young people with their mental health and wellbeing.

Elliot, a year 10 student, said: “The talk was really engaging and hard hitting. The speakers were inspirational and the messages they spoke about were really powerful.” 

Thanisha, a year 13 student said: “It was very inspiring and influential as it showed you don't have to be strong all the time and that there are times where you will need to ask for help.

“Some of the facts and statistics were also quite eye-opening and show that anyone can struggle no matter who you are and I have learnt how to support those who are or seek support if ever needed.”