Martin Coyd, the instructor delivering Mental Health First Aid Training for Rugby League Cares has been recognised in the Exceptional Instructor Category and given a Champions Award at the Mental Health First Aid Awards at the House of Lords on 13 February 2013.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) was established independently in the UK in 2009 and works tirelessly to raise awareness, reduce stigma and educate people about Mental Health from all walks of life.Coyd
The STATE OF MIND programme was established in 2011 with the aim of improving the mental health, wellbeing and working life of rugby league players and communities.

In 2012, Rugby League Cares was created. Rugby League Cares is the sports charity dedicated to supporting the Rugby League family and its local communities. The mission is to enhance and enrich people’s lives through the power and positive influence of Rugby League.

Rugby League Cares supports Rugby League’s broad community – Past, Present & Future:
Past: Celebrating and protecting Rugby League’s heritage and traditions.
Present: Helping to take care of members of the Rugby League family, especially in times of hardship and distress.

Future: Securing the future by funding, and supporting projects at the grassroots of the game

The four strands of Rugby League Cares are:

Support the development of Rugby League
Provide targeted health and wellbeing support to members of Rugby League community
Protect Rugby League Heritage
Support players who are in hardship or distress as a result of a serious injury

Martin Coyd first became involved with MHFA at London Broncos, achieved accreditation as an instructor and is working with the RFL to deliver MHFA Lite Courses across the UK to Rugby League Community Clubs.
Martin said ‘The RFL MHFA Lite course is aimed at the hugely important volunteers involved in every Rugby League club in the land. Rugby League Cares is seeking to raise awareness, reduce stigma, educate people and signpost people as to where they can get help and support’

‘The course complements the State of Mind campaign which is doing a wonderful job with players and coaches and we are making real inroads . With help and support from many great people, we have started pushing at the door. It is surprisingly easy to open and people want to listen, to learn, to help, to make a difference’.State of Mind 310 MHFA Leeds

‘We are at the beginning of a journey , but the first steps have been taken and progress is being made. The Rugby League Community is awakening to the possibility of how we can make a difference, enhance peoples’ lives and make the world a better place’

‘I was surprised and delighted to receive the award. There were great people and real heroes in the room and to achieve Runner up was a very humbling experience’