Pacific Rugby Players Welfare has released an episode focusing on the mental health struggles faced by Pacific players worldwide.
The episode comes in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where mental health concerns have deteriorated as people have been forced to isolate to contain the spread of the virus.
Former Fiji captain Netani Talei, and 2016 Olympic champion Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan spoke of their experiences with mental health.
Netani Talei explained that the “alpha male” role that Pacific men strive towards and a reluctance to be a burden on others often restricts their ability to ask for help when it’s needed.
Former Fiji hooker Sunia Koto suggested that becomes even more difficult for Pacific players when they are thrust into a professional rugby environment overseas.
However, there is more that we can do as Pacific Islanders to help alleviate the stigma it is often associated with.
Ryan says that it all comes down to the support network.