SEUSEU BRINGS MENTAL WEALTH TO HEALING REGION
As part of the Warriors’ response to the tragic events in Christchurch on March 15, former club stalwarts and Kiwi internationals Jerry Seuseu and Ben Henry are heading south on Wednesday to roll out their ‘Mental Wealth’ program for the local rugby league community.
The workshop – in partnership with Le Va – will be held on Wednesday, March 27 Wilding Park, getting underway at 6.30pm.
“Given the recent events down there, we felt as a club that it’s something we could do positively for the people of Christchurch,” Warriors Welfare and Education Manager Seuseu says.
“We’ve been doing the rounds of Auckland Rugby League clubs, talking about investing in mental health and creating mental wealth. We wanted to offer it to the community down and there and see if there’s any uptake. It’s been well-received in Auckland, so we thought it would be something worthwhile to make available.
“Basically it’s about helping clubs to (create) a safe space for that conversation around looking out for each other, spotting the signs around anxiety and depression, given that one in seven New Zealanders experience it at some point.
“It’s about (providing) tools around that, so you can have a safe environment to spot when your mate might be in trouble, and then what you do when you spot the signs.”
The attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques, in which 50 members of New Zealand’s Muslim community lost their lives, has altered the context of Saturday’s NRL clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Warriors at Rugby League Park – the first major sporting event to be held in the city since.
Seuseu explains that traumatic incidents can be a trigger, and people are potentially vulnerable in the wake of what Christchurch has endured in the past fortnight.
“As we’ve seen in the news, it’s affected everyone massively,” the Warriors’ 2001 Player of the Year says.
“A lot of people are taking stock of life, (getting) perspective and trying to figure it all out, the why and how. It’s about taking a moment and reflecting on how we can care for one another, show solidarity.
“We’ll be out at the schools, but we also wanted to offer something a little bit different that we know can be helpful and hopefully people can use.”
Despite the unimaginable heartache the region – and the nation as a whole – is working through, Seuseu has been inspired by the way the people of Christchurch have rallied, and in turn how the wider New Zealand public has unified.
“It’s been tremendous. When you think of what can divide us at times, it’s great that at a tragic time like the events of the last couple of weeks that we can come together as a nation and respond to something collectively.
“Despite our social, political and ideological differences, it’s important as a country that we can do that.”