Peter Mata’utia is well known for an ever-enduring smile, but he’s been more than open about his past struggles.
He sat down with the Daily Mirror to give an exceptional interview about a past suicide attempt and how he has turned his life around since then.
Mata’utia – who has been at Castleford for the last three years – does a lot of voluntary work in and around the Castleford area and is regularly visiting schools to promote his own health experiences.
But, that all stemmed from somewhere and it’s a harrowing story, having grown up with three younger brothers and three sisters in a scary domestic situation.
“To be honest, it was pretty tough and I didn’t know how to balance it properly,” Mata’utia said.
“I struggled and it led me to trying to commit suicide. One of my best friends and my partner, who is now my wife, found me hanging in the closet. They cut the rope, pulled it off me and waited for me to come back to consciousness.”
To make matters worse, the utility back had only just began his NRL career with the Newcastle Knights and learnt that he should have opened up sooner.
“I was doing really well in rugby but I got a bit ahead of myself and thought I was above everything.
“I didn’t know how to balance things and I started doubting myself and thinking I had let my little siblings down. I didn’t talk to anyone and instead I tried (to commit suicide). I understood pretty quickly the effect it had on other people.
“I felt really bad for my best friend and partner who found me. They didn’t deserve that and I didn’t deserve it. If I can share this now then maybe I can help people before it is too late. Everyone deserves a chance.
“When I go into schools I can spot signs because I have been through most things. I want everyone to have a chance to fulfil their full potential.”
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