Tonight The Footy Show tackles the very serious subject of suicide and depression.:
The NRL Footy Show tonight will address a subject that many people in society still find hard to broach. But suicide and depression is a conversation the rugby league community needs to have.
One in five people in Australia suffer from depression, and every day six people will die from suicide and another 30 will attempt to take their own life. This story has been over three months in the making.
Regan Grieve and Hayden Butler, two young footballers, committed suicide on Australia Day this year. Hayden was 20, Regan was four days shy of his 19th birthday. They were two of Queensland’s brightest rugby league prospects. The boys didn’t know each other but both died in the same town, on the same day, hours apart.
The Footy Show meets their devastated mothers, Roberta and Angela, and see how they’re coping in the wake of their deaths, and we bring them together to meet for the first time. Both mums now have a common goal: to take the stigma out of mental health in the hope of saving lives and sparing any family going through what they have.
The Footy Show also sat down with Sharks prop Andrew Fifita two and a half months ago to tell his story, a story he had touched upon but not completely told. Since then he has been suspended for six weeks for an off-field incident. By screening this interview The Footy Show in no way condones that incident nor excuses it.
During this time Andrew has never used his mental health as any kind of excuse, and our story tonight is no different. It is not a vehicle for him to make excuses for what has happened. This story airs tonight showing the Andrew Fifita we spoke to 10 weeks ago because The Footy Show believes he raises important issues for our community to discuss openly.
We have lost eight young rugby league players to suicide this year, and troubled NRL star Andrew Fifita almost took that death toll to nine.
This story was and still is about speaking out – and challenging people to have a conversation, a conversation that might save a life.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
The Footy Show airs 9:30 tonight on Nine