NRL world awed by Shaun Johnson's mental health honesty

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·Sports Reporter
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NRL player Shaun Johnson has been praised for an open and honest account of the steps he's taken to work on his mental health this off-season. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
NRL player Shaun Johnson has been praised for an open and honest account of the steps he's taken to work on his mental health this off-season. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Soon to be Warriors star Shaun Johnson has taken to social media to open up about how he has sought assistance with his mental health over the NRL off-season.

Johnson, who is joining the Warriors from the Cronulla Sharks next season, was praised by fans and colleagues alike for his bravery. 

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The 31-year-old said that despite having some struggles, he had realised that talking about them and seeking help had shown there was always progress to be made.

“I’ve been doing a lot of speaking lately. Talking/venting to people I trust and feel comfortable with,” Johnson posted on Twitter.

“What I’m feeling can be solved and so can what you’re feeling. I’m not alone and neither are you.”

Johnson is returning to the Warriors for the 2022 season in a move that surprised many in the NRL world, after a somewhat acrimonious separation after the 2018 season.

After two seasons in Cronulla, the Warriors were thrilled to welcome back the fan-favourite Kiwi international.

Continuing his discussion on mental health, Johnson said he considered the topic extremely important given that statistics surrounding suicide, with the majority carried out by men.

“76% of suicides are by men, with suicide being the biggest cause of death for men under 35,” Johnson said..

“Yet men are less likely to speak out or access psychological therapies than woman (sic).

“We need to break the stigma and end the silence.

“Do not man up, it's time to talk.”

Earlier in the year, Warriors boss Cameron George said much had been made of Johnson's 2018 departure from the club, when in reality his attachment had never faded.

“While he left to join the Sharks, Shaun’s heart has always been with the Warriors after starting his career here, “George said in a statement.

“We’re thrilled we’re able to bring him home to again play in the Warriors jersey in front of our members and fans at Mount Smart.”

Dragons re-sign Feagai twins to NRL deals

St George Illawarra will keep twin brothers Max and Mat Feagai at the NRL club until the end of 2024 after the pair inked new two-year extensions.

The Dragons confirmed on Monday the backline duo would stay at the club, after they made their debuts over the past two seasons.

The 20-year-old Leeton juniors form part of a younger core at the club that include the likes of Jayden Sullivan and Tyrell Sloan who won the under-18s SG Ball competition in 2019.

In turn, their new deal takes them off the list of free agents who became available to approach by rival clubs last week.

The Dragons have announced they have re-signed Mathew Feagai and his brother Max ahead of the 2022 NRL season. (Photo by NRL Photos via Getty Images )
The Dragons have announced they have re-signed Mathew Feagai and his brother Max ahead of the 2022 NRL season. (Photo by NRL Photos via Getty Images )

"We often talk about how special an opportunity this has been at the Dragons," Max said.

"We are so happy to re-sign and to continue making our family proud.

"Hopefully I can stay healthy this season and play a lot more games than I did last year all with the goal to cement a spot in the NRL team."

It comes as part of a busy off-season for the Dragons, who have signed Aaron Woods, Moses Suli, Tautau Moga and Jack Gosiewski since their regular season ended.

With AAP

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