NRL star Joel Thompson shares his story for Yarn Safe

NRL star Joel Thompson shares his story for Yarn Safe

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– [Commentator] And here’s
Ray pumping it to Thompson. Thompson has scored yet another Dragon’s try.
(whistle blows) – Culture and identity, mean a lot to me. I come from a small community in the far west New South Wales,
and I was brought up to learn about my culture and it taught me a lot about my identity and
who I was as a person. I’ll pass that on to my kids as well, and you know, I’ll keep it
going on through generations. I come from a lot, there
was domestic violence, there was alcohol or drug issues. You know, growing up around that, it taught me to be resilient and create my own path through
hard work and dedication. And through that I’m lucky
enough now to play in the NRL, and I try and pass that on now to the kids I work with in the community. Now, I was getting into a
lot of trouble at school. I was getting in trouble with the police, and I disappointed my
grandmother who took me in and I was lucky enough for her and my father to decide for
me to go to boarding school. And I went there and got
out of my comfort zone, and really worked hard in school
to try and make them proud. – [Commentator] Whoa! Here’s a ball that’s gone away suspect,
and away to Thompson. Thompson goes all the way! – To be mentally strong now,
and the position I’m in now, I had to work hard for it. I didn’t have them coping
strategies when I was younger, it’s something I had
to work for and learn. I learnt them from speaking to someone and not being ashamed about going
out there and talking to my cousins or my family and to my friends. Just being more open. There
is nothing to be ashamed about speaking about issues
that you’re going through, or problems that you’re going through. Unhealthy coping strategies is drinking or alcohol and drugs, or bottling up them emotions. Not speaking about them emotions,
I think that is something that I used to deal with. I used to drink, to forget
about what was really happening, and it was the worst
thing I could have done. Some easy things that I do in my life is, I make sure I’m sleeping well. I’m making sure I’m eating
well, eating healthy. And I’m making sure I
stay fit and exercises. Yarn Safe is specifically
for us indigenous people to get help and it’s a place that we can feel safe to have a yarn and it’s okay
to go there and get help. (gentle music)

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