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Newcastle Knights Darius Boyd admitted to mental health clinic to treat depression

Date

Brett Keeble

Treated for depression ... Darius Boyd playing for Newcastle on the weekend.

Treated for depression ... Darius Boyd playing for Newcastle on the weekend.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett said fullback Darius Boyd was no certainty to play again this season after checking himself into a Sydney rehabilitation facility on Wednesday morning to treat depression. 

After media reports surfaced on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, that Boyd was being investigated for an incident in which $1500 worth of damage was done to a room in a Hunter Valley hotel he stayed at last Thursday, the Knights issued a statement on Wednesday saying Boyd had been admitted to a mental health facility seeking treatment for depression. Bennett said Boyd had only told him about that incident in a conversation on Wednesday, and believed it was unrelated to his condition.

"I'm pleased for Darius that he's recognised that he's obviously got a problem, it's a self-admission one and he's come to this conclusion himself, and he booked himself into rehab in Sydney this morning," Bennett told the media after Knights training on Wednesday. ‘‘He's always had different little issues, but no more than I've noticed in the past. I've always had a close relationship and good communication with him, but late last week he started to talk more about it. He obviously needed help and in the end he realised that he needed to get some professional help."

Describing the Queensland and Australian star as an introvert, Bennett said Boyd's admission "explains a little bit of maybe what we see in Darius and we all try to work out what's actually going on with him". 

"It's tough for anybody," Bennett said. "It's a much more sensitive issue in our society than it has been, and there's a lot more respect shown for people who have it, and I think that's a wonderful thing. It's obviously an illness most of us want to avoid if we can." 

Bennett is like a father figure to Boyd, having been his only NRL coach during a 204-game career at the Broncos, Dragons and Knights. They first crossed paths when Boyd made his NRL debut under Bennett at the Broncos as an 18-year-old schoolboy in 2006. Asked if he had seen signs that Boyd was headed down this path, Bennett said: "Yes and no".

"It's like everything, whether you've got an alcohol problem or a drug problem, you've got to make the first admission yourself, and I think he's been fighting that the last few months bringing himself to that conclusion," Bennett said. "So were there absolutely certain signs, no, but had there been some signs, yes."

Bennett said Boyd had been working with counsellors "for some time" and a diagnosis of depression was "the conclusion that they've come to". Bennett would not speculate about when Boyd would be available to play again, and said there was no certainty he would play again this year.

"No idea at all. That's not our priority," he said. "To be honest with you, he's had a great love affair with football and maybe many times in his life, football's been the thing that's held him together. But right now, football's not the thing that's holding him together. It's his health and he realises that and football is secondary to everything else."

Bennett said 18-year-old rookie Sione Mata'utia would make his NRL debut replacing Boyd at fullback against Sydney Roosters at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.

Readers seeking support and information can contact MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

15 comments

  • get well. don't let the black dog chase you down.

    Commenter
    sigh
    Location
    SEQ
    Date and time
    July 23, 2014, 9:54AM
    • So reaffirming to have a thoughtful comment rejected for no good reason considering some of the wacky stuff that gets through.

      Anyway I hope Darius gets the help he needs, and back on his feet soon. Depression is a horrible illness.

      I know the Knights will miss his link play next season.

      Commenter
      Seano
      Date and time
      July 23, 2014, 10:37AM
      • Hey I didn't say that! Why are you pretending to be me?

        Commenter
        Seano
        Date and time
        July 23, 2014, 9:09PM
    • What is his concussion record like ?

      Commenter
      BigAl
      Date and time
      July 23, 2014, 10:49AM
      • darius cops a lot of flack in the mainstream media and social media and sure he's not the most affable player in the nrl but until you have walked in his shoes or know what demons he faces daily then reserve your judgement. judge his on field performance all you like but judging his personality says more about you than him. i wish him well in his fight with depression.

        Commenter
        joniliev
        Location
        syd
        Date and time
        July 23, 2014, 10:58AM
        • Assuming that it is genuine Depression (and I have no reason to doubt it), this is just more proof that it doesn't care whom it strikes, or when. In addition to the 'phone numbers above, you could add BeyondBlue 1300 22 4636.

          Commenter
          Lewis Winders
          Location
          Tasmania
          Date and time
          July 23, 2014, 11:10AM
          • Get well soon Darius.

            Commenter
            Paul C
            Location
            Toowoomba
            Date and time
            July 23, 2014, 11:35AM
            • Get well soon Darius, and all power to you for taking this step.

              Commenter
              Paul
              Location
              Bulldogville
              Date and time
              July 23, 2014, 11:51AM
              • Is it ethical to publicise his private medical conditions the moment he enters the psychiatric ward? Has the Canberra Times checked to see if this could cause more harm?

                Commenter
                dave
                Date and time
                July 23, 2014, 12:14PM
                • Don't know you Darius, and don't even particularly follow the game, but you can beat this mate.

                  Commenter
                  James
                  Location
                  Brisbane
                  Date and time
                  July 23, 2014, 12:21PM

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