Editorial - Thursday, November 28:Speak before it’s too late
THE departure of English batsman Jonathon Trott from this year's Ashes series serves as a timely reminder about the importance of mental health and casts a firm spotlight on bullying.
Trott's mental health issues were not common knowledge until it was announced he had left the touring squad.
The announcement shocked much of the cricketing and public world and his plight should reinforce the importance of speaking up if you do have issues.
Unfortunately, it is not as easy it sounds.
The Gold Coast Titans have been visiting the New South Wales North Coast this week, stopping by tens of schools in the Clarence and Coffs areas.
They have been presenting the NRL's Tackle Bullying program, which is - as the title suggests - a program designed to give children a voice and stamp out bullying behaviour.
I had the privilege of sitting in on the session at Maclean High School where five Titans stood in front of the Year 8 cohort recounting their experiences.
Yamba's Luke Douglas and Lismore's Caleb Binge were joined by fellow Titans Steve Michaels, Mark Ioane and Ben Ridge, and each told of different times in their life they had been the victim of bullying.
Victims do not know it at the time - I know I certainly didn't when I was younger - but you are not alone.
Actions speak louder than words, and sometimes it is much harder to do anything at all, but bullying will never end until the community comes together to stamp it out.
Look out for those around you, take care in what you say and to whom, and do not be afraid to speak up.