Leeds Rhinos player launches mental health scheme for teens at his former school

A Leeds rugby star has returned to his old school to launch a scheme which help boys in their final years address mental health and life challenges.

By Emma Ryan
Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 10:45 am

Leeds Rhinos' Stevie Ward has come up with the Mantality in Education project which is currently running at Woodkirk High School where he used to be a pupil.

The project aims to equip the young men with the mental tools to achieve their potential and better cope with adversity.

It takes a group of 12 young men through the process of setting up a supportive and open group where mental health and well-being is freely spoken about. The young men work towards finding their values, goals, and the types of behaviours that will lead them to achieving not only the exam results that they want but to crafting the life they want to be living once leaving school.

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Leeds rugby player Stevie Ward addressing pupils with his Mantality in Education project at Woodkirk High School.

Ward delivers the sessions himself and is looking to add further guest speakers, as well as rolling the Mantality in Education project out to other schools.

He said: "The pupils who have taken part have really engaged with the project and I hope they can take a lot from it. In your final year at school there is a lot of pressure on young people – from exam results to making big decisions about their future and through this project we try to equip participants to take complete ownership of how they navigate school and the progress they make.

“They will use open and honest communication in order to create growth, support, and achievements within a group. There is a holistic approach to the values and goals which allows them to be implemented in the young boys lives in-between the weekly sessions and beyond the project ending.”

Mantality in Education comes three years after Ward, who has spoken publicly to discuss his own struggles with depression, launched Mantality, an online magazine and podcast, which aims to support and inspire the everyday male to become a more comprehensive version of themselves with mindset being the first point of address.

Stevie Ward working with pupils at Woodkirk School.

Ward added: “Mantality is committed to changing the culture around mental health and I believe that to do this successfully it must start with young people and their education."

Stevie Ward in action for the Leeds Rhinos.