The reminder to check on your mates will be a message shared throughout this weekend's round of Super Rugby.

The themed round, driven by New Zealand Rugby's HeadFirst wellbeing programme, is aimed to encourage people to speak more openly about mental health. While round six had always been targetted for the themed round, the outpouring of emotion from all around New Zealand after the tragic events in Christchurch was a further reminder of the importance of looking after each other.

"It's not always the most comfortable thing, but just asking how someone's going can mean a lot," Crusaders No.10 Richie Mo'unga said of the initiative.

New Zealand Rugby education and wellbeing manager Nathan Price said this year's campaign was designed to break down barriers around opening a dialogue about mental health - particularly the awkwardness of it.


"There's sometimes a stigma around talking about our mental health and asking others how they are, especially for young people. People are often worried they'll say the wrong thing, and this can be a massive barrier to having genuine conversations about how we're feeling.

"By using humour, the campaign addresses this and shows that although it can be awkward, it's important to take time to check in with your mates and ask them how they really are."

The HeadFirst Round kicks off on Friday when the Blues play the Highlanders at Eden Park, followed by the Hurricanes match against the Stormers at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

The Crusaders are away to the Waratahs on Saturday night, while the Chiefs play the Bulls in South Africa on Sunday morning (NZT).