An alarming 28% of the people on the island of Ireland rate their mental wellbeing as poor or very poor in new research commissioned by Zurich and Rugby Players Ireland to mark the relaunch of the Tackle Your Feelings mental wellbeing app and website.

The new phase of the campaign, under the banner of #ImTakingControl, was launched in Dublin yesterday by Leinster Rugby’s James Lowe who is a campaign ambassador.

The findings of the research also show that 23 per cent consider how they are feeling less than once every few months, despite the fact that 97 per cent reported that their mental wellbeing is important to them.

Almost half of respondents stated that they don’t do enough to ‘Take Control’ of their mental wellbeing.

The Tackle Your Feelings campaign aims to promote a proactive attitude towards mental health and to provide people with the tools to ‘Take Control’ of their mental wellbeing using sport psychology and positive psychology principles.

The latest TYF app and website will equip users with the tools to develop coping skills and enhance their support networks, including professional help when needed, putting them in the best position to ‘Take Control’ of their mental wellbeing.

“I’m delighted to be an ambassador for the Tackle Your Feelings campaign and to tell my own story of how my arthritis diagnosis at age 14 impacted me physically and mentally,” said Lowe.

“As a sporty kid, this was tough, but the power of positive thinking got me through, and today I really realise how lucky I am to play rugby.”

“Sometimes you don’t talk, and you think your feelings are for you. The research showed that 62% of people find it difficult to talk about their mental wellbeing.”

“Don’t bottle things up. It’s best to get them off your chest early instead of waiting for them to hinder you later on. As a professional rugby player mental wellbeing is critical on and off the pitch. It’s not just important for athletes though, it’s important for everyone.”

The campaign will feature several other leading Irish international and provincial rugby players as role models helping to remove some of the stigma associated with mental health.

The ambassadors will be sharing videos of their own tips and techniques on how they ‘Take Control’ of their mental wellbeing. Over 25 rugby players will use their profiles to support the campaign.

“We at Zurich are delighted to continue our support for the latest phase of the Tackle Your Feelings campaign with Rugby Players Ireland,” said CEO Anthony Brennan.

“Our research clearly demonstrates that while people appreciate the importance of managing their mental wellbeing, they are not taking control of it as they do for their diet and fitness. This may be because half of the people in our survey stated they are unsure as to how they should manage their mental wellbeing.”

“We believe the app and website will encourage and make it easy for people to be more proactive and incorporate mental wellbeing as part of their daily routine. It is great to get the support of ambassadors like James Lowe who bring to life the vital role that mental wellbeing plays in our lives, and how we need to prioritise it as part of our overall health.”

A number of features have been enhanced and further developed from the previous Tackle Your Feelings App including: a general and personal locker, a goals locker, the ability to write and record notes and the wellbeing indicator test. An expanded “test centre” will allow users to measure different aspects of their mental wellbeing which can be tracked in their personal locker. The new totally revamped website will be constantly updated with new information, the user’s information will be interchangeable between the app and the website and there will be a section where registered members can post to and become part of the Tackle Your Feelings community.

“Our research has found that 50% of people have themselves or know someone who has experienced issues around weight issues, depression, money problems, sleep problems and low self-esteem, which in turn can negatively affect our sense of well-being,” said Campaign Manager at Rugby Players Ireland, Hannah McCormack.

“The research also highlighted that people need support maintaining their mental wellbeing when it comes to relationships, sleep, confidence and happiness, all of which are features on the Tackle Your Feelings app and website.”

“Our tools aim to empower people to take proactive steps towards managing their mental wellbeing and learn when they may need to seek external support. There is also a chance to become part of the TYF community, with the hope that members will eventually contribute to the website.”

Players are role models to whom others can look up to. It will often seem like they have the perfect life as professional sports stars but opening up on the problems that they face can help others come to terms with their own issues.

Read More: Earlier this year we interviewed in an article that further appeared in the Rugby Players Ireland magazine. You can read that interview here.

Image Credit: Billy Stickland,