The Wales, Scarlets and British Lions centre has joined forces with CALL Mental Health Helpline for Wales, a partner of the popular print and digital media platform, Sportin Wales.
Given the increasing need for mental health support and a rise in male suicide rates, as well as the many challenges facing people of all ages across the country – notably the cost-of-living crisis, mortgages, and energy costs – Jonathan encouraged anyone struggling with anxiety, stress, or depression to contact the organisation.
“Mental health is extremely important, and I know in my working life talking about the stresses I faced helped me cope when I needed it most,” he said.
“People need to know they’re not on their own, even if it might seem that way, and knowing you have support is everything.
“They should talk about it, or at least try, as I know myself from personal experience that other things as well as rugby can play on my mind – as a man, I get it.”
Jonathan added: “Talking about things is definitely something we can all work on so let’s kick that stereotype into touch.”
CALL Manager Luke Ogden thanked Jonathan for helping to remove stigmas around asking for help when you need it, especially among men.
Three times as many men as women die from suicide, according to reports by The Mental Health Foundation, but men are less likely to access psychological help – only 36% of referrals to the NHS for therapy and support are for men.
“Jonathan is right, we definitely need to break down stereotypes and encourage more young men and anyone facing mental health challenges to get in touch with CALL,” he said.
“Our operators are there 24/7 to listen, the helpline is free to use and as well as discussing any concerns they can also signpost users to services across the country.
“To have a role model like Jonathan as part of our team is fantastic, he is one of the best players Wales has ever produced but also someone who understands the pressures and issues faced by so many men in Wales today.
“We are so grateful to have him on board, I’m sure he will help us to spread a positive message far and wide over the coming year.”
Text the word ‘HELP’ 81066 or call freephone 0800 132 737 for more on CALL Mental Health Helpline for Wales. Alternatively, visit www.callhelpline.org.uk.