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All Blacks vs Tonga Test will make room for 'a moment' to raise mental health awareness

In tomorrow’s All Blacks Test against Tonga, something different will happen at 2.21pm.

To encourage people to speak up and not stay silent, both national rugby teams will show their support and encourage people to speak out on mental illness.

Fans will be encouraged to 'not stay silent' and make as much noise as they can at 2.21pm.

It’s an initiative born from Head First, New Zealand Rugby’s mental health and wellbeing programme.

The ‘A moment Against Silence’ campaign was launched on Tuesday to support those who want to get help for their mental health.

It comes as a recent coroner’s report revealed the number of suicides in New Zealand has reached the highest in 12 years.

Ambassador for the programme Keven Mealamu told TVNZ1’s Breakfast that getting young men to share and speak up is really important.

"The statistics are really high at the moment and one of the things we have seen that are prevalent at the moment are trying to get our young men to share how they are feeling," he says.

"We’ve got a really great platform in rugby that reaches far into our communities and so when we are talking about this, it’s not even about our rugby people, it’s everyone that’s a part of our community, which is why I think it’s so special."

Mealamu says the campaign has raised awareness, with key people championing the cause.

"The more people we can get championing this, hopefully we can start normalising the conversation," he says.

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‘A moment against silence’ will feature in the All Black's Test against Tonga this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS