Glen Innes rugby star back in the area

GET TALKIN': Waratahs gun Alex Newsome will be in Armidale on Thursday night.
GET TALKIN': Waratahs gun Alex Newsome will be in Armidale on Thursday night.

New England local and Waratahs star Alex Newsome is back in the region this week to spread an important message.

Newsome and coaches Shannon Fraser and Chris Whitaker are travelling around the region as part of NSW Rugby's and batyr's mental health initiative Get Talkin'.

The tour targets drought affected communities and delivers training and talks to raise awareness about mental health issues in the bush.

A Glen Innes native, Newsome is all too aware of how much the drought has affected people in the region.

"From my personal experience, just the way things are with the drought at the moment, it is a very trying time for agricultural communities and bush communities so I am really proud the Waratahs are doing through their Positive Rugby Foundation," he said.

"It is good to raise awareness and get that conversation going, particularly surrounding mental health."

"It is basically using local rugby clubs as a base to get their base to get their local community to get together and raise awareness on these issues that are present in the bush communities. "

Parents and kids are catered for with on-field training sessions and the educational talks to encourage the whole family to come along.

"By getting families in, for the kids we can put on rugby clinics but with the parents is where we are really trying to educate people on the prevalnce of mental health and how important it is to be aware of it," Newsome said.

"If nothing else, we are putting a social event to get the families into the rugby club and take their minds off any pressures placed on them through the drought or other means."

Newsome is hoping a huge crowd comes along to the session on Thursday at 5.30pm.

"I would like to encourage as many community members, you don't have to be rugby people to come to the event. Really just join together with the conversation," he said.