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After Ian's ascents up Ben Nevis with Fergus and Jonny as part of Project Vertical, he was struck by the types of conversations that were had on the mountain. No ego, no judgement, just time and opportunity to speak freely. Our deepest gratitude to Fergus, Jonny and everyone involved.
It got us thinking about how we wanted to continue normalising conversations around mental health and signposting easy routes to experts and understanding how our noggins work. Just so happens that through Status Code 14 and JP (two of our newer ambassadors) we were already linked with Rock 2 Recovery so it was an easy conversation.
The more we found out about Rock 2 Recovery, the more we felt we should be doing to help them reach a greater audience. They are a super friendly and approachable bunch of people just like you and us, but they're not a traditional clinical practice so they're agility means that when someone reaches out, the response is rapid. Their support reaches throughout the military and blue light communities, including family members and it's all free.
It doesn't get any better or easier than that.
R2R was founded after the two Royal Marine Co-Founders: Jamie Sanderson and Jason 'Foxy" Fox, met the man they now call 'Yoda' (Malcolm) back in 2013 and they both realised that Malcolm's refreshing approach to mental fitness needed to be made accessible to anyone who needed it, having suffered themselves for years but struggled to find the right path.
Fast forward to today and they are receiving roughly 20 calls per week with 13 coaches running daily one to one sessions, adding up to around 800 hours per month. The number of calls to R2R continues to only increase with recent approaches from senior figures within national institutions a mark of the successful outcomes delivered daily but rarely publicised. Their aim is to get the help to people affected by stress when they actually need it, rather than working to someone else's schedule. They recognise that there isn't a one size fits all for mental health or the tools to improve it. Their approach welcomes you into the Rock community for life and they'll check in on you, as a friend, just so you still know they're there.
After spending the morning with Co-Founder Jamie, Ian commented "It's instantly clear just how non-judgmental the whole organisation is, but also how on point their approach is when compared to the traditional routes that Jamie and Jason both experienced, which ultimately failed them. Knowing that they've been through it themselves goes a long way to explaining the natural authenticity that makes R2R so approachable, the knowledge that they have been there and come out fitter, stronger and thriving not just surviving."
Rock 2 Recovery is a not for profit CIC (community interest company) and relies on fundraising to continue to keep their services free. They work closely with The Royal Marines Charity and have their own fundraising team "Team Fortitude", plus events and merch that support their work...
... and this is where you and the EB community comes in, to design and sell a bucket load of kick-ass, not for profit Elliot Brown x R2R t-shirts and stick a bunch of cash in the pot for more sessions.
Mental agility shouldn't just be spoken about for one day, or one week a year; it's an all-day, every day thing and little by little it can become a normal conversation.