International Men’s Day 2022 – the importance of sustainable high performance with Stevie Ward

International Men’s Day 2022 – the importance of sustainable high performance with Stevie Ward

Tomorrow is International Men’s Day – an opportunity to raise awareness of men’s health and wellbeing, and to promote a positive conversation around mental health.

At NorthEdge the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues, in our business and across our portfolio, is at the top of our agenda. We have made a commitment to continually raise awareness and support our colleagues in this increasingly important area, including:

  • Partnering with Sanctus, an organisation that helps businesses pro-actively support their people to achieve better mental health. Our partnership ensures that there are dedicated one-to-one coaching sessions available with an expert coach for Team NorthEdge every month, and we have sponsored six leaders from our portfolio to take part in the Sanctus Connected Leadership programme
  • Organising regular forums to connect leaders across our portfolio on topics such as mental health and the importance of investing in people
  • Being one of the first private equity firms to become signatories to the Mindful Employer Charter , and encouraging other members of our portfolio and network to do the same to take a positive stance on mental health in the workplace
  • Having over 100 qualified mental health first aiders across the portfolio

In recognition of International Men’s Day we invited Stevie Ward, former professional rugby player for Leeds Rhinos and founder of Mantality, to run a session for Team NorthEdge and portfolio leaders.

Aged 26 Stevie was approaching the peak of his career, he was already a three-time Super League champion, two-time Challenge Cup winner, captain of boyhood club Leeds Rhinos and on the verge of recognition at a national level.

However, on 2nd February 2020, Stevie received a bang to his head during a home game and was taken off the pitch with concussion – the second time he had suffered a head injury in two weeks. These injuries ultimately led to him deciding to announce his retirement from the sport he had dedicated his life to.

Post retirement Stevie suffered from constant migraines, dizziness and nausea and struggled with several mental health problems including depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts as a result of his injury.

After receiving support from specialists to alleviate some of these symptoms, Stevie has now channelled his energy into his mental health and wellbeing business Mantality. Mantality offer a range of counselling and coaching services that help people, but men in particular, to take control of their mindset and live life with purpose.

The session saw over 30 people from across the portfolio come together to discuss how to achieve high performance in a sustainable way. In addition, we recorded a special episode of Beyond the Capital with Stevie who shares his hugely inspiring story, the importance of starting the conversation about mental health, vulnerability and honesty, and how he hopes Mantality will help people to take control of their mindset and reach their full potential.

Tune in here to hear Stevie’s story and access our other episodes.

For more information, please contact our press office at BIG Partnership -