Ex-NRL players share vital message

Raising awareness: Aaron Cassidy, Tabcorp's Arely Carrion, Rachel Thomas, Headspace's Ann-Maree Hartley, Sporties GM Shae Hutchins and Headspace's Nic Steepe. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Raising awareness: Aaron Cassidy, Tabcorp's Arely Carrion, Rachel Thomas, Headspace's Ann-Maree Hartley, Sporties GM Shae Hutchins and Headspace's Nic Steepe. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Sporties held a mental health awareness and suicide prevention event on Saturday to talk about the serious issue and raise money for headspace.

As well as barefoot bowls, face painting and live music, there were two former NRL players who spoke about their battles with mental health issues.

Former St George forward Dan Hunt was diagnosed with bi-polar during his playing career, while Dragons, Cronulla and Western Reds hard man Darren Higgins was diagnosed with depression after his league career had finished.

Both men had important messages on the importance of being open and asking for help.

Sporties general manager Shae Hutchins said the club wanted to do something for the community, which has suffered so much from people taking their own lives.

“Dubbo has been affected pretty badly of late. We’ve been hit so hard. Unfortunately it happens on an almost weekly basis so the messages of Dan and Darren are important to hear,” she said.