Facing the facts
Everybody has mental health. Just because we are unable to see it does not mean that it is not equally as important as our physical wellbeing. Statistically, mental health affects 1 in 4 people every year. Whether it be us, our friends, family members or work colleagues, mental illness has impacted almost everybody in one way or another.
Much to our detriment, we live in a society where silence is bliss. Mental health is still very much considered to be a taboo topic amongst the masses, which, unfortunately, can often discourage people from opening up and talking about how they are feeling.
The figures surrounding mental health-related suicides are nothing short of shocking. Every year, around 800,000 people die by suicide globally. In the UK in 2018, there were a reported 6,507 deaths by suicide – a rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Overall, males accounted for three-quarters of UK deaths by suicide in 2018. Alarmingly, it is thought that around 90% of people who die by suicide have at least one underlying mental health condition at the time of their death.
Who are LooseHeadz?
Driven by determination to make a difference within the rugby community and to provide a platform to talk about mental health, LooseHeadz was formed in 2017 by father and son Rob and Mark Shotton and Dave Nicoll. Having all had friends who had previously suffered with some form of mental health condition, the trio were left feeling frustrated as they always felt poorly qualified to do anything positive to help their mates. This impotence led to the creation of LooseHeadz.
With a collective passion for rugby, Rob, Mark and Dave have developed an ethos of openness and honesty and believe that with role models speaking transparently about mental health, we can break down the barriers and overcome the stereotypical views that often plague those with mental illnesses.
What started as a project in Wilmslow Rugby Club bar in Cheshire, LooseHeadz has become a registered charity and now raises money and makes charitable contributions to individuals and organisations who can deliver affective help to those in need. LooseHeadz offer a range of leisurewear for both men and women and pledge 100% of the money raised to help tackle the stigma.
Spearheading the LooseHeadz mission are a team of instrumental ambassadors and patrons, including DTH van der Merwe, Denny Solomona, Sam James and Welsh rugby legend, Shaun Edwards. With their support and association, LooseHeadz have been able to spread awareness of their work and further help the silent majority affected by mental health.
For more information about or to grab some official LooseHeadz merchandise, visit https://looseheadz.co.uk and become a mental health champion.