Rugby star to bring important message

It’s not often you can get a man to talk about his feelings, but if a 120kg Super Rugby prop can get up in front of a crowd and talk about mental health, then surely that’s a very powerful message for others.

Waratahs Super Rugby player and Batyr ambassador Paddy Ryan will be in Cobar next Wednesday to speak at a Batyr Community Mental Health Forum.

Ryan has been working with the Baytr organisation for the past several years helping to engage, educate and empower young people to have a positive conversation about mental health.

He and other sport stars like Australian netballer Sharni Layton, who visited Cobar last August, have signed on as ambassadors with Batyr to help smash the stigma around mental health.

Ryan said while he’s not trained to be a counsellor, and is probably not that good in expressing his emotions, he isn’t ashamed to ask a mate how they are going.

“Mental health is an issue that is close to my heart, it is close to my family and the opportunity arose to go and do a bit of stuff in schools. It’s an organisation I am proud to be part of,” Ryan said in a Fox Sports interview last year.

Batyr staff have been working with the Cobar community since late 2014 and over the past three years have run a number of community forums and workshops in Cobar as well as developing a Batyr Chapter group at Cobar High School.

Ryan will be the special guest speaker at next Wednesday’s forum at Cobar Bowling & Golf Club. The forum will also have information about what mental health help and resources are available in Cobar and provide the opportunity for locals to participate in a Q&A session with local professionals and experts in mental health.