LISTEN UP: James Tedesco is one of the Australian sportsmen who are part of Headspace's new campaign aimed at encouraging young men to seek help for anxiety and depression.
LISTEN UP: James Tedesco is one of the Australian sportsmen who are part of Headspace's new campaign aimed at encouraging young men to seek help for anxiety and depression. DAVE HUNT

Sport stars back campaign encouraging men to seek help

THE star fullback who was one of the driving forces behind the NSW Blues' victory this year is part of a mental health campaign aimed at young men aged 16-24.

Roseberry Queensland and Headspace Gladstone are backing the national youth mental health campaign Headcoach, which brings together some of the country's elite athletes to share tips and advice from their own experience.

It encourages young men to train not just their bodies but their minds.

In a video to be released today, James Tedesco opens up about how season-ending injuries and negative messages he received during his move from Wests Tigers to Sydney Roosters impacted his mental health.

"The key for me was to be around positive friends and family, who are there to bring you back up, people who you can have a laugh and relax with," he said.

Roseberry Gladstone general manager Colleen Tribe hopes the campaign will reduce the stigma around men speaking out.

"It's important that men, particularly young men, don't see speaking out as a weakness," she said.

"It's actually quite a brave thing to do."

Ms Tribe said common causes of depression and anxiety among young men were unemployment and intergenerational mental health issues.

"Dad might've had mental health issues and not sought help and a son or nephew or stepchild sees that and they don't seek help either if they need it," she said.

"We need to break down that cycle."

Headcoach seeks to educate men that maintaining mental health is just as important as maintaining physical health.

Other sportsmen involved in the campaign include football player Daniel Arzani, AFL player Dale Thomas and rugby union player Kurtley Beale.

Keep an eye on Roseberry Queensland and Headspace Gladstone Facebook pages for information about men's health and events or visit headspace.org.au/headcoach.