Leeds Rhinos star launches clothing range to help raise awareness of mental health
Leeds Rhinos star Stevie Ward has launched a new clothing range to help raise awareness and progress the conversation around mental health.
The launch was hosted by Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton, with special guests including the Leeds Rhinos squad, Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis and Kaiser Chiefs bass player Simon Rix.
The range is part of Ward’s Mantality project, which was launched in 2016 to inspire the everyday male to become a more comprehensive version of themselves; with their mindset being the first point of address.
Originally an online magazine and podcast the Mantality concept has gone from strength to strength and this year Ward began delivering an education project to support young males in their last years of high school.
The Leeds-born player now hopes that the launch of the new fashion brand will help even further, 25 per cent of profits going towards offering immediate psychological support to young people who need it.
He said: “We are simply looking to be proactive around mental health. And not be reactive. We want to progress the conversation around mental health and develop the knowledge around it, so we can live better lives.
“Mental health illnesses won’t be eradicated and ups and downs in mental well-being are part of the human experience. We want to put out apparel to add knowledge and understanding to the conversation on mental health.
"We want to go one better than ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ we want to be able to be vulnerable, address our mental health and then take up the responsibility to do something about it, to go find meaning and purpose.”
Stveie said it was great to have so much support for the launch.
"The Mantality concept has grown so much over the last three years and we are proud of the work we are doing and how the conversations around mental health are progressing. Through the apparel we can now help more people, with a percentage of the profits going towards offering young people who need immediate psychological support.
“The world has come along way since I spoke openly about experiencing depression three years ago, It makes me sit back and reflect when I see more and more athletes and public figures sharing their story with mental health and I’m starting to think we are going in the right direction.
“Mental health impacts how we all interact, how we listen to and deal with each other, how we receive and give feedback. It is the basis from which we perceive life and how we captliaise of the good times as well as the bad.
“Quite simply, the way we have disregarded mental health has not been good enough, More than that, if we want to keep progressing forward in any aspects of life, this level of focus and knowledge on mental health will no longer suffice – not even with the improvements made over the last few years.”
The Mantality Apparel range includes t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and hats and is available at: mantalityapparel.com