IT'S fitting that the Illawarra Rugby League launched a new partnership with Mental Health Movement the day after RUOK Day.
Fitting, because what comes after these potentially life-saving conversations is what MHM has specialised in since being founded by former Dragons prop Dan Hunt three years ago.
Now, with fellow former NRL stars Chris Houston and Ashton Sims on staff, MHM works with more than 60 companies and over 300,000 staff members in all sectors.
It's mission is to provide education, training and resources to organisations to go beyond the initial conversation.
"RUOK Day, Mental Health Month, World Suicide Prevention Day and Movember are fantastic, they're all parts of the puzzle that we need," Hunt said.
"Those create important awareness and have really changed the mental health landscape in Australia. I was diagnosed [Bipolar II] back in 2010 and no one was talking about it back then.
"We're in 2020 now, we've come such a long way, but I feel the next five to 10 years we need to move into the next phase of education and training and application."
It's what MHM will now provide IDRL clubs, with the backing of Steelers, at a time where the Illawarra-South Coast rugby league community reels from a number of tragedies.
"Unfortunately we've had a number of suicides down on the South Coast for footy clubs Jamberoo, Kiama and Gerringong that have really hit home with our team members and our communities," Hunt said.
"We've seen the strength of communities rallying around each other and supporting one another as best they can, but they don't always have the education or funds and resources to best do that.
"We've been in discussion with the Illawarra Rugby League and also Steelers Club have been massive in supporting it and funding the project we're launching.
"We're targeting all clubs in the Illawarra District Rugby League area, clubs coaches players and families so we can help them create a mentally healthy, supportive club and best look after themselves and each other."
It expands IRL's previous initiatives including the Bendigo Bank Mental Health Cup, while clubs in the Illawarra and Group Seven have also rallied around their own causes.
For Hunt, Houston and Sims it's a rewarding return to community football.
"I loved my time and career in rugby league but getting out of that professional football bubble is one of the best things I've done," Hunt said.
"When you do get out of that bubble, especially when you get out into work places, you see how much footy means to people and how connected they are to it, in particular their local club. It's the heartbeat of the town.
"Footy helped me get on the straight and narrow, it gave me a purpose and identity, belonging. It did the same for the other boys, I can speak on their behalf.
"We're absolutely pumped that we're able to get back to the grassroots and give back to a community that gave us so much."