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‘We need to talk about it’: Emotional Thurston calls for change after Green death

‘We need to talk about it’: Emotional Thurston calls for change after Green death

‘We need to talk about it’: Emotional Thurston calls for change after Green death

By Zachary Gates

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Johnathan Thurston has fought back tears as he delivered a powerful message on mental health following the tragic death of Paul Green.

The Cowboys legend, who joined forces with Green to lift North Queensland to their first NRL premiership in 2015, has implored those struggling to ditch the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude.

“Mental health has really come to the forefront the last 10-15 years,” Thurston told Nine’s 100% Footy on Monday night.

“Before that it was an era of ‘she’ll be right, mate’. Well, it won’t be right. It’s not going to be right.

“We need to be there for our mates and get them to talk about their feelings and what they’re going through and [get them to] seek professional help if they need it.

“The days are gone of ‘she’ll be right’, of suicide taking far too many lives in this country.

“We need to be able to talk about it.”

Thurston’s interview on 100% Footy came several hours after he appeared on 9News, speaking publicly for the first time since Green’s death.

“Rollercoaster of emotions. It’s hard … I’m sad, I’m angry,” Thurston said.

“I think of Amanda [Green’s wife] and the kids. It just breaks my heart.”

On Thursday, Thurston was travelling to Sydney for his Channel Nine duties when he heard the news of Green’s death.

Paul Green celebrates the 2015 premiership win with Cowboys talisman Johnathan Thurston.

Paul Green celebrates the 2015 premiership win with Cowboys talisman Johnathan Thurston.Credit:Getty

The godfather of his children, who was also a close mate of Green, called Thurston to deliver the gut-wrenching news.

Channel Nine bosses gave Thurston the weekend off and booked him an immediate flight back home.

Thurston revealed 2015 grand final teammate Gavin Cooper had chatted to Green on the phone the night before his death.

“He was still like the rock for everyone else,” Thurston said.

“He was saying, ‘Give me a call if you need to chat. You’ve got so much to live for. You’ve got health, family, kids’.

“So it just doesn’t make sense.”

But Thurston is also remembering the good times.

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“He’d get a few under his belt and start singing Ice Ice Baby,” he said with a laugh.

“[That] was his go-to. He loved bringing people together.”

This article originally appeared on Wide World of Sports.

If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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