It Takes Balls To Talk, Mind & CO-OP // Guardian Labs
It takes balls to talk campaign from Mind shot for Guardian Labs in conjunction with CO-OP
I photographed Gareth, Jon, Chris, Conor and Andrew from several rugby clubs across the Swansea Valley on a not very warm, December morning. Powys has the highest suicide rate in Wales. In 2020 the local arm of the charity, Mind (Ystradgynlais) created the #ittakesballstotakes campaign, designed to remove the stigma around mental health, as well as making support more accessible. Rugby is an important part of this close-knit community with many clubs being the social hub. As one of CO-OP’s charity partners, Mind have been able to secure funding, which enables them to train coaches and referees as ‘mental health first aiders’. These first aiders are then equipped with the necessary skills to provide support or referrals to counsellors, where necessary.