Hardie helps tackle mental health with Looseheadz

Wednesday 12 May 2021 Written by: Adam

Looseheadz is a not-for-profit community striving to create a global dialogue on the issue, and during Mental Health Awareness Week their year-round work is being given a wider platform.

“Looseheadz are an all-year-round operation, but I guess Mental Health Awareness Week is just a chance to shine a bit of a light onto what they do, and how they help so many people,” said Hardie, the Falcons flanker who has represented Scotland.

“This is a big week for them, but then so is every week, because you never know when you’re going to need help.

“I’ve been an ambassador for a couple of years now, which I regard as a real honour, and I guess a big part of my role is just in spreading the word and helping to normalise the fact that mental health is something you can talk about.”

Initiatives include a webinar with BT Sport presenter Craig Doyle, France defence coach Shaun Edwards and England Women’s legend Nolli Waterman. Taking place today (Wednesday May 12) at 7.30pm, they will be discussing mental health and rugby, with Looseheadz trying to recruit an ambassador at every grassroots club. [**Click here**][1] to register for the free webinar.

Hardie said: “I personally love being associated with Looseheadz because they do such a good job, and quite a few clubs will have ambassadors like myself.

“In the professional end of the sport it’s starting to become much more normal to be able to get help and to talk about mental health issues, but Looseheadz are also keen to do what they can at the community end, where it’s maybe overlooked a wee bit.

“The amount of growth within the organisation is awesome, and they sell rugby clothing via their website where all the profits go back into the charities.

“The main thing I guess is just encouraging people to talk, because by opening up in that way it becomes more normal and doesn’t have that stigma attached like it maybe did a few years back.

“People might be sat there thinking ‘well if these big hard rugby players can open up about their mental health issues, then maybe I can too’.

“I think with social media as well, that’s another element which can really affect people’s mental health. My message to them is that the help is there. You have physios, doctors and S&C staff to look at other aspects of your health, and I just see this as an extension of that.

“It’s been ignored for a long time but over the last couple of years, through guys speaking out, we’ve made some really good steps.

“It shouldn’t just be about what happens during this one week, because mental health is a year-round thing, but if this gives us the platform to be able to tell people about what we’re doing then I guess that’s an opportunity we’re very grateful for.”

For more information on Looseheadz please [**click here**][2].

[1]: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mutTT9WNQqmVvafunwF3-Q
[2]: https://looseheadz.co.uk/pages/about-us