NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg wants players in his game to ask for help if they are struggling with depression.
As rugby league was dealing with news of Greg Inglis's shock hospitalisation for depression, Greenberg said the game could be a trailblazer in erasing the stigma around mental issues.
"On the outside, our rugby league players look big and strong and fit,” he said.
"The message is simple - not just for our players but the broader community - 'If you're going through some difficult moments, never be afraid to put your hand up'.
"Never be afraid to ask for some help, whether that's professional or just a mate to talk to.
"The message that we would love to send through the profile of the game is, 'Put your hand up when you need help. It's a sign of strength, not weakness'.
"Rugby league can help reduce the stigma for young men to put their hand up when they've got some problems, and clearly that's what Greg's done today.
Inglis last week became the latest high-profile player to check into a rehabilitation clinic for personal issues, after the likes of Kieran Foran, Mitchell Pearce and Ben Barba.
"It tells you that they're in a very high profile environment with huge pressures, and some of them aren't equipped to deal with the pressures that come with being an elite athlete,” Greenberg said.
He denied the integrity unit was investigating Inglis's case.
"This is an issue where Greg's obviously having some difficulties and he's trying to get the help for that,” he said.
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