Great Britain boxer Jordan Reynolds has thrown his backing behind England Boxing’s new #FightingBack campaign, which encourages people in boxing to feel able to talk about mental health problems.
Launched on Thursday (7th February) across England Boxing’s social media channels and www.englandboxing.org, it coincides with #TimetoTalk Day – a nationwide movement to get the nation talking about mental health.
Reynolds – who was named Boxer of the tournament in winning the 75kg weight category at the England Boxing Elite National Championships last year – experienced mental health problems when he was younger.
He realised that sharing those worries were the first step towards making things better for the future.
“Getting people to talk about these things is key,” said Reynolds, 23. “It affected me quite badly because of the circumstances I was in growing up.
“You can be speaking to someone and you seem normal to them, but you’ve actually got gunfire going off in your head.
“It’s important to tell others what’s happening, to have the confidence to speak about it and know that it’s alright to do so. Sometimes as boxers egos can get involved, but actually a lot of boxers are sensitive souls and you need to get your mental state right to perform at your best.”
Reynolds will feature in a video on Thursday explaining in more detail why he is supporting the project and how boxing has helped him with #FightingBack from mental health problems.
Other members of the boxing fraternity have also told their stories about how they, or someone they know has been affected, and these will feature online over the next five days.
The campaign has been put together by England Boxing’s North East Club Support Officer Matthew Williams, who has been affected by mental health problems himself.
He is also in the process of putting together a workshop in partnership with Mind called Box In Mind that will be launched later this year which will help attendees understand mental health problems and how they can affect people, as well as how to support anybody that may be struggling and signpost to treatment or advice.
More details on the Box in Mind workshops can be found here.
Williams said: “I have personal experience of struggling with mental health problems and experienced two severe episodes of depression, so I know just how difficult it can be to be open and admit that you need help.
“The way we get more people to feel able to talk about things is by showing that it is OK to talk, and showing that in being open we can get the help and support needed to overcome mental health problems.
“So we would like to encourage the boxing community to share your stories of #FightingBack against a mental health problem, or how you have helped someone to do so, just as other people will be doing over the next few days. That way, I believe we can have a truly massive impact on the many of us who are affected by this.”