Wasps claim they were shocked and saddened to learn about Kearnan Myall’s recent revelations on his struggles with mental health during his time in rugby.
One of a dozen players who departed the Premiership club at the end of last season, the second row graphically reflected on his pro rugby career in a no-holds-barred UK newspaper on Monday.
In the in-depth feature with The Guardian he recounted a suicide attempt while in Dubai and also revealed he failed a drug test after taking cocaine on a night out. Having left rugby, the 32-year-old is now preparing to take a PhD in Psychiatry at Oxford University.
“Player welfare and mental health is something we at Wasps take very seriously,” read a club statement on Tuesday. “We are shocked and saddened to learn of former lock Kearnan Myall’s recent revelations about his struggles with mental health during his time in rugby.
“Suicide, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse are not avenues which anyone should have to go down, and, in whatever way possible, we as rugby clubs must support individuals to ensure no players or staff are faced with these perilous situations.
— robert kitson (@robkitson) August 19, 2019
‘Kearnan, who spent six years at Wasps, is an intelligent, extremely highly-respected and highly-regarded individual, and it is important that his story prevents others from experiencing similar problems. It is imperative, that rugby players at all levels worldwide are supported not just physically, but mentally.
“Kearnan is researching mindfulness and mental health issues among athletes and as part of this, he will be conducting some of his research working with the Wasps academy to help the next generation.
“Hopefully, Kearnan’s work will assist players in coping with the stresses of the industry and prevent others from going through the same issues as he did during some of his career. We wish Kearnan the very best in his studies and fully support him in trying to make a difference, not just across the world of rugby, but across all sports.
“With the support of the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) and also club doctors and GPs, we would always encourage players or staff to utilise the support which is on offer on a regular basis, and will continue to remind them who they should contact if or when they feel that they require the support.
“RPA members who may be struggling with their mental health can access the RPA’s 24/7 confidential counselling service by calling 0044 1373 858 080, or for more information visit therpa.co.uk/lifttheweight.”
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