Each of our carefully researched, styled, tested and distributed collections reflects a particular aesthetic and ethos. We hope some of these speak to your own style, and help you refine and redefine your own look and style philosophy in the process.
Each of our carefully researched, styled, tested and distributed collections reflects a particular aesthetic and ethos. We hope some of these speak to your own style, and help you refine and redefine your own look and style philosophy in the process.
January 26, 2022 24 min read
Writer’s Note: The following article touches on mental health struggles and stigmas. Reader discretion is advised.
Callun Lavington is the owner and manager of the parkour fashion brand Contendunt. Contendunt is a small grassroots operation, like so many parkour clothing companies, and so Callun is a wearer of many different hats. Under the banner of Contendunt, Callun creates video projects, both athletic and culturally based, designs and releases clothing, and effectively does everything under the sun for his growing business. My conversation with Callun was eye-opening, as we discussed the steep learning curve that building a brand can be, especially at the ripe old age of 23; as well as the toll of faltering mental health.
Me: How are you doing today?
Callun: Doing well, actually! We got out training and stuff today, so that was fun. It’s good to get out really, I mean the weather is crap at the moment. Obviously it’s winter and it sucks, but no today’s been good. We shot a video today, kind of explaining the mental health stuff we posted on Instagram the last few days, then we’re just going to overlay some training clips. And that’ll go up in the next few days. (At the time of this blog’s publishing, the video has been released, and is embedded at the end of the article.)
Me: I actually just spent some time revisiting your YouTube content, and it’s good stuff man, really. When did you guys get established?
Callun: Hey thanks man, I really appreciate it. And I started Contendunt in May of 2019, so it’s been about three years now. Originally it was just a passion project, but in the past year to eighteen months I’ve decided to really go for it. Really trying to build it up a bit more, into something that’s less of a passion project and a little more sustaining.
Me: What does “building it up” mean exactly?
Callun: When it first started, I would just make and sell a couple of t-shirts, and it was always seen more as a hobby. I always wanted to try and make and sell clothing, to contribute to the community in that way. But in the last eighteen months it’s now grown to the point where I’m really enjoying myself and learning a lot through the brand, if that makes sense. It’s helped me find a new career path where I’m now working in digital marketing as well. So the brand has really helped me to branch out, so not only am I earning more money, but also developing new skills along with it, it all goes hand in hand. Eventually we want to build the brand into a full-time thing, but for now we’re really focused on building brand awareness. We’re pushing to contribute to the greater community, but not just by selling clothing. We want the brand to grow to a degree that when people purchase or wear our clothing, or repost something of ours on Instagram, they’re not just supporting our pockets but also putting their money behind a cause. I always wanted the team to support causes, since we started. We ran a jam shortly after we started Contendunt, and sold an exclusive shirt with proceeds from that shirt going to a mental health charity called Mind. We want to contribute more in that sort of way as well, it’s obviously so important to try and give back.
Me: What exactly drove you to build a brand?
Callun: Part of it was boredom, and also the challenge of it. I was a parkour coach when I started the brand. I love parkour, and I always want to be involved in it. The idea of being a professional athlete, to me… I mean I’m not the best athlete, I’m not the most skilled, I’m never going to be that person. So I kind of thought to myself, “How can I be involved? How can I help build up the parkour industry?” Going down the clothing route made the most sense. That’s just where it started, I wanted to do my part in helping the sport grow, but not necessarily by being the best athlete, or videographer. I felt like I knew a little bit about clothing already, and as I learned, I could help the industry around parkour grow.
Me: That’s a big part of why I wanted to reach out to you, you have an understanding that, in order for the sport to grow we can’t all be professional athletes. People have to use their other skills to improve the industry.
Callun: Absolutely. When I was younger, I was around 13 when I started training, but in those first few years I was like, “I really want to push, I really want to be a professional athlete.” But as I matured, I realized the reality of becoming a professional in the sport was really minimal. It takes a lot of work and you have to dedicate a lot of time and energy to it. But when you’re in university, or living on your own, it becomes much harder to devote that time, unless you’re blessed with athletic genetics and knowledge to market yourself. It’s like what you wrote about Bloggy, he found his way through designing clothing, and doing all the tech packs and stuff. We need to start utilizing the skills we’ve developed outside the sport, bring those into the industry, and see how we can marry it all together.
Me: Exactly, bringing in the marketable skills of community members is so important to expanding the industry, and providing opportunities for other passionate people.
Callun: Yeah totally! I mean, everyone pulls the example of skateboarding, but if you look at skating you have filmmakers, photographers, graphic designers, wheel makers, the guys who work in magazines, you have all of these people bringing in skills they’ve learned from over here or over there. They’re all bringing their skills into a sport that they're passionate about, and that’s how it really grows and scales. We are definitely heading that way, but there’s also much more that could be done to scale the sport massively.
Me: There are groups of parkour kids all over who want nothing more than to see their friends wearing their gear, what is absolutely necessary to make this a reality?
Callun: I think to make that a reality you have to not be as “sales-y.” It sounds really strange. The idea with Contendunt is, we don’t expect anything. We don’t approach people and ask, “Hey we sell t-shirts, do you want to buy one?” Basically you need to explain to people why your product is going to help them, you don’t just want to sell a t-shirt. It’s more about what that t-shirt means, it could be anything. Like maybe this t-shirt is eco-friendly, and so there’s an environmental benefit. For example, our Black Friday shirt release was made from 50% recycled cotton off of the factory production floor. People bought that t-shirt over others, specifically because it’s made from recycled materials. You have to answer that question, "Why should this person want to buy my clothing?" So a few of our items have been eco-friendly, or they are connected to charity causes, etc. If the clothing is connected to a premise or cause that the customers are passionate about, then it’s more impactful than simply buying a shirt for the sake of a t-shirt. If you want to sell clothing, or a product of any kind, then think about what that product is doing to satisfy people’s needs and wants. If you’re a clothing brand, you can have the nicest design on the market, but if you look at everything solely as a basis to make a profit, some people are going to look the other way. Whereas if your clothing donates, say, 20% to mental health or something along those lines, people are more likely to support those efforts. You need to be selfless, and be willing to do things for other people, and solve other people’s problems.
Me: Saying you need to be selfless, or do things for others is an interesting approach to making money.
Callun: You’re right, it sounds almost counterproductive. Going back to Black Friday, it’s a time of the year where people grossly over consume. They buy things they don’t need, they see things on the cheap, and they’ll stock up and buy it. In reality, the potential of them using whatever it is they bought is minimal. There’s a clothing company in the UK called Pretty Little Thing, like a fast fashion outlet, similar to Forever 21 in the states. They’re quick to turn around designs and products, almost every week or so. During Black Friday 2020, they ran essentially a penny sale, and you could get items of clothing for literal pennies; like 99% off. The clothing purchased from these companies is made from unsustainable materials, they exploit their labor force, and so we save money and buy up whole wardrobes of clothes during the holidays. It’s all just toxic. So during our own Black Friday, we’ve been saying like, only buy from us what you need. The idea was that we didn’t want people to really shop with us too much. Our eco-friendly shirt I was talking about sold really well, and we had a buy-one-get-50%-off sale, which people for the most part didn't use. It was really good for us to gauge what our audience is like.
It worked out really well, and it ended up being one of our best months since we started. It was one of those surreal moments, and a really progressive point for us to want to do more things for other people. We did a campaign focused on rights for workers in factories, rights of women working in factories, with the profits going to help them out, and we felt good to get to do something for them. We really want to do more for other charities.
Me: What are some of the biggest issues that you’ve faced as a brand owner?
Callun: Ooh, Covid and Brexit. The two biggest ones. Covid was just tough, the warehouse where our clothes get printed had to close due to lockdowns for weeks, and when they opened back up there were time delays, material shortage issues, it was just immensely stressful. The first load of lockdowns in 2020 came within a week of us trying to drop a new collection. Brexit has really been the worst, sending anything to and from Europe has really become a nightmare. You’d be working with a factory, then suddenly none of the sizes or materials are available. I had never experienced anything like that before. The stress of constant emailing for the brand on the side while I’m working a full-time job, like, balancing my time is stressful as well. I’d be up super early emailing factories and things before work, then going to my primary job and answering emails there as well, it was just a really stressful time. I’m having to manage trying to productively put my time back into the brand while I make sure to focus on my full-time job, as well as all of my other responsibilities. Obviously as the brand grows, that’s a good thing, but it means I have to invest more of my own personal time as well. So social or pleasure activity and things like that get sacrificed. You can’t just pop out training whenever you want, you know? For me it’s like, I can train for a couple of hours, if I get two hours of work done first. So definitely time management as well is a big one.
Me: Owning a brand sounds like being a 23 year old guy or girl who wants to provide something for a community, but now you have to deal with things like economic policy on a national scale.
Callun: Seriously, it’s quite scary, and can be overwhelming. When Covid first popped off, I was only 21, so quite young. Brilliant learning curve, because if it happens again we might be a little more prepared for it. That was one of the weirdest and most chaotic experiences we’ve been through. We’ve lived and learned through it. We now have some contingencies in place to hopefully lessen the impact should something like that happen again.
Me: Have there been any victories, big or small, that made it all feel worthwhile?
Callun: Yeah! So we dropped the Movement Never Dies collection last March, which we worked on throughout the pandemic. It was received really well, sold really well. Out of that in 2021, despite the pandemic still going, we were able to get more designs out, and do more work for charities and things like that. 2020 was a bit ropey. We couldn’t see each other, couldn’t make any content, but 2021 became our best year ever without a doubt. We put time into our YouTube content, had the ability to travel and see people, 2021 as a whole for us was a big win. 2022 is looking to be a great year so far too.
Me: Who else works with you in Contendunt?
Callun: I primarily run all of it myself, but we do have a team of sponsored athletes who help with making Instagram and YouTube content, and help me with design ideas. But we have Oliver Ashby (@oliver.ashby), Caden Evans (@cadenevns), Marcus John (@coose.contendunt), Charlie Repp (@charliereppo), George Ratcliffe (@george.ratcliffe_), Will Acheson (@willachesonpk), and Sofia Sbaffo (@sofia_sbaffo). Since Oliver and Marcus are in the same town as me, they take on some of the YouTube content. Oliver is a very good person for me to go to, if I have an idea, we talk back and forth and he helps me flesh it out, and decide if it’s actually a good idea. We want to do more with the sponsored athletes, you know injuries, school, and stuff have affected our ability to do things together as a team. But this year, we’re really going to try and push the boat out more with the athletes to get them really going.
Me: What is your sponsorship model?
Callun: Each of the athletes has a discount code, the athletes get a percentage commission when someone uses their code and makes a purchase on the website. It builds up over time based on what their platform does to help the brand with sales. We also send them all free clothes, so if we have a new collection drop, I’ll ask what pieces they want and send them out. They get free clothing in exchange for helping me maintain Instagram and things. As much as I’d love to financially provide for them all, we had a conversation very early on and explained that this isn’t possible. They are part of our sponsored team because they’re passionate about the brand and helping it grow, putting in the time, effort and energy. They know that as prospects improve, they’ll benefit as well.
Me: Cool, so how long did you wait before beginning to sponsor athletes?
Callun: First initial roster of athletes came maybe two or three months after Contendunt started. Originally it was just taking on the young kids I was coaching in my hometown. After that, we basically branched out and opened up an online application to join the team. The idea being that we wanted to expand from the inner circle of our hometown, and have people in different places to get the word out about our brand. Norml Brand did something similar, and that’s actually where we got the inspiration. We got a lot of submissions, and it was a difficult process, but now we’ve got people all over the UK, and one in Italy as well. We want to try and do more internationally at some point, but Covid held us back massively.
Me: There is a common misconception that building a parkour brand will allow you to live a “parkour lifestyle” a la Farang or Storror. You mentioned that you work a full-time job as well, can you talk about that?
Callun: Yeah, you’re not going to make a few t-shirts and sustain yourself as though it’s a full time job. I work a full-time job as well, for a company that produces financial news content, think the stock market, cryptos, stuff like that. On the side of that I also coach parkour every other weekend, so that’s a little bit of extra income as well. But yeah, basically a lot of my time is spent working different jobs, whilst trying to help the brand make money. You need multiple forms of income just to live really. While I would love to live based solely off of Contendunt, it's just not possible. It's highly unlikely that it’s going to be possible any time in the near future. It’s something we definitely want to work towards, but there’s really no way to sustain ourselves just off of the clothing, which is why YouTube is so important.
Me: So how do you continue branching out?
Callun: This is something that we’ve been trying to think of recently. How do we start branching out? I think for us, now that the virus restrictions are easing, it’s going to mean traveling to more events. Hopefully the idea being that I can send a couple of sponsored athletes to events in the future, pay for their tickets or whatever; in exchange they might help us create content, they’ll wear the clothing at the event… We haven’t really had very many parkour events the last two years or so. So once they get up and running again, we’ll be going to those a lot more. Starting out probably in the UK, and then trying to maybe travel internationally; again hopefully the virus kind of eradicates. Then, just trying to build social platforms really. It’s very important when you’re running a brand or a business that you don’t come across as a brand or a business, but you come across more as a person. At the moment on our social media, we want to appear human to the people that we’re talking to, and that really helps us communicate with people, and helps us grow, because they don’t see you as a robot behind a screen, or a brand with some random customer service person answering questions.
Me: It feels more genuine.
Callun: Yeah, you end up having more genuine conversation. You know, speak to people like I would speak to a normal person. And again, things like YouTube. We’re working on YouTube a lot this year, we have a couple of film and documentary ideas we want to do. Which will hopefully just get our message out and help the brand grow as well. There's definitely a networking aspect, working with other people in the community. We’ve got quite a solid group of us in the Southeast of the UK, where we’re from. Multiple teams and we all work together, we all share each other about. And having that network where everyone kind of helps each other grow is really crucial.
Me: It’s interesting that you mention that actually. You seem to have such a concentration of parkour teams in the UK, compared to here in the U.S. where everyone seems more spread out. It’s interesting to see how tightly knit the UK community is.
Callun: I think after the whole “Jump London” era, (parkour) became so easily accessible. You go on the internet, search your area and parkour, and nine times out of ten you’ll find people in your area training. And again from working as a parkour coach, at the open sessions and stuff you get people coming down to visit, and I’ve met a load of people through that, people who I now train with outside. Everyone in the U.K. more or less knows everyone. Everyone gels. And it’s not difficult to get across the country here. Especially since we’re so near to London, and London goes here, there, and everywhere. So any journey is not particularly far for us at all.
You’ve got to look at it in the sense of, “How much do I want this?” Prime example, you travel across states in the U.S. and it’s not deemed as a long journey, but here anything over an hour-and-a-half is deemed as a long journey. That’s a crazy concept, and it’s something that we need to forget. You just need to go for it, you need to go out there, meet people, build this strong force of friends in your area, or further afield.
Me: So the hard question. In a good month, could Contendunt pay your bills?
Callun: No, not currently. Straight up, with the bills that I pay, it won’t cover all of them. If we want the brand to survive, we couldn’t financially do that.
Me: That’s rough, but it’s self investment right?
Callun: Yeah, exactly.
Me: What are your short and long term goals for the brand?
Callun: Ooh that is a very good question. Short term would be just to carry on what we’re doing and have fun with what we’re doing. I like to tell this to the sponsored athletes as well, this is not a job. This is fun, I want them to have fun with it, and we’re still in the early stages. So we can really experiment with content ideas, concepts, and what we want to do with the brand, before we solidify ourselves as this “one thing.” So a short term goal would be to experiment with different formulas for as long as possible so that we can see what works, what doesn’t work, how can we improve, what else do I need to learn, that sort of thing. And in the long term, we want to work to become more sustainable, and eventually start… Well, my biggest goal is to run the very first brick and mortar parkour store.
Me: Oh that’s a cool goal.
Callun: That’s been an idea I’ve had for years. It almost happened for six weeks, but the plans unfortunately fell through. We applied to work with a charity that purchases empty shops in town centers and stuff, and provides them to artists and small businesses and things for six weeks at a time. We were in talks with them, but then an artist got the space we were looking at. But we’re on their books now, so maybe it can happen again. But yeah a brick and mortar store would be amazing, and seems achievable. I mean, you’ve got your skate shops and things, we need people to start wearing parkour brands as fashion pieces, and we’re not far off. It’s a concept I've had for a long time, but it’s always been on the back burner. Every now and again I’ll write down ideas for it, but yeah.
Me: That’s really cool, honestly. Do you have any projects for the team, coming down the pipeline?
Callun: We obviously have the campaign we’re doing now for the mental health stuff, which we’re doing for the foreseeable future. The idea being, we’re going to document, storytell, and try to get people talking. We’re also working on a clothing line inspired by a pretty bullshit rule in the town that we’re from, that banned parkour a few years ago.
Me: That’s right, I had totally forgotten that you’re from Horsham!
Callun: Yeah, and they still have all the signs up! So you can go out training one day and have no problems, and you can go out another day and just get hounded for going out at all. We’re playing about with a collection that pokes fun at that, so that’s our next big project. We want to shoot a big video project, and get the whole team together. We feel we’re long overdue for a big video.
Me: Big video project, would you lean towards Capstone or Kipa and just release on YouTube, or would you attempt a paid production?
Callun: I would love to do a paid production. I think for the time being just to get the experience shooting and editing, we would start by going down the YouTube route. But if the feedback’s good, and we can learn to do it properly, we would love to delve into paid media. But we don’t want to jump straight into paid media, because if we were to charge people to watch our product, we would want to feel like it’s worth charging for. For me at the moment, I don’t feel ready as a cameraman or as a video editor, I don’t think the other guys feel that way themselves, and I don’t feel that we’re in a position to charge for our content. So for now it’ll just be on YouTube for free, and as we build up the skill set, we will then start working towards a paid production.
Me: So are there any resources that you would suggest to aspiring brand managers?
Callun: I think websites like Udemy and Skillshare are fantastic. Another one is just YouTube. I heard a quote from someone, “If you want to learn anything, head to the University of YouTube.” There are so many free resources online now, and there are tons of good YouTube channels dedicated to building brands, learning business, sourcing products, learning Shopify, so utilizing YouTube is a huge one.
Another is going the old fashioned route, just read a load of books. Once I started Contendunt I learned so much from reading, not necessarily like “self help” books, but there are books on like, growing your social platform, selling products, mindset books, which are really good. Don’t be scared to reach out to brand owners and ask them questions. I’m very appreciative of Giles, when I first started I was constantly pinging him messages asking him for his expertise. You know, most of the time people are going to give you the same resources they use.
As you can plainly see, the difficulties in creating a parkour brand are immense, and worth taking into account when deciding whether or not a venture of this caliber is right for you. It seems like new parkour brands and teams are appearing every day, and only time will tell who has the work ethic, passion, and knowledge to turn their brand into a staple of the community. None of this is to say that the pursuit of building a parkour business isn’t worth the effort. As they say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I personally have very high hopes for Callun and the Contendunt team. Supporting brands like Contendunt is the easiest way to ensure that our sport grows in the right direction. The direction of caring for and connecting with the community on a more personally invested level. I'm really glad to see that parkour brands are partnering with charity causes like Mind to make a difference in the community that supports them.
The rest of the interview dives into Callun’s introspective thoughts, and his experiences struggling with mental health.
Me: So, getting into the mental health questions now, I want to talk about your personal experience if that’s okay with you.
Callun: Yeah of course, so essentially I’ve been struggling since I was about fifteen, eight or so years ago now. It started when I was in school, and over time it got progressively worse, and there was a long period when I just wouldn’t talk about it. I’ve never been the best at talking about what’s going on in my mind, with fear of judgment or fear of people, thinking it’s attention seeking, the classic stigmatizations around my own mental health.
Then, the last year and a half or so hasn't been the best, I’m currently going back to therapy, and I’m on medications to help me deal with it. I’ve now learned the importance of talking about it and opening up to people. I’ve learned that a lot of people aren’t open to listening about people’s mental struggles as well. I used to be very protective about what people knew about how I was feeling. I was constantly worried about how people were thinking of me for having a down day, or feeling depressed. It got to a point where it was eating me alive so much, I had to be open about it. And you know, the problems aren’t gone, but if people are aware then you get resources that can help you. Talking about it, having a conversation is so much better than sitting in your own mind. Years of battling it on my own and trying to squash it down to the bottom just didn’t work. Now that I’m more open about it, it makes it so much easier, not necessarily to cope because some days I still really struggle, but now I’m not having to hide it, and it’s not something to be ashamed of.
Everyone has mental health, and everyone will go through sadness and depression in their life, whether they lose a loved one or something else along those lines. Just getting it out and speaking to people is so helpful. The change I’ve felt in myself from being vocal about how I feel, it’s such a massive weight off my shoulders. Saying, “I am struggling.”
Me: So you have sought professional help, how important do you think that is for people who are struggling?
Callun: Looking at it now, I would say 100% do it if you are struggling. Please, go and do it. I, for a very long time, was like, “I don’t need therapy, I don’t need to sit there and talk about how I’m feeling.” But it’s so important. I’ve had family members and friends telling me that if I’m struggling then I should see someone, because it could help. I always felt like I didn't need help, could deal with this alone, but the more you’re saying that, the more you’re in denial about how all of those bad feelings circle around in your head.
Going to therapy is one of the best things I’ve ever done, and it is already helping me massive amounts, because I’m learning how to cope when I’m in a dark headspace. It seems people get worried that a therapist is going to sit there and judge them, but they aren’t. They’re there to help you, they’re there to listen. They’ve heard everything before, and nothing is going to shock them. If you have the option to do so, I fully recommend that you go and do it. It’s been amazing and really helpful for me.
Me: You mentioned that you now have some tools to help yourself cope in a dark headspace, can you share what your coping mechanisms are?
Callun: In one of my therapy sessions, we worked out that everything loops back to something. So if you’re feeling down and sad, what actions are you taking? If I think of those actions I take when I’m sad, they loop back around to what makes me feel that way. It’s like eradicating those sorts of things.
Exercise is a big one for me if I’m feeling down. Even if it’s just for a walk, just being outside really, really helps. If I’m sitting in an office all day, taking myself outside, even just for a few minutes, does a world of good. The change of environment just makes you feel better. Change the physical location you’re in. Remove yourself from that environment.
Also, I’ve started journaling. I’ve got something called the “Six Minute Diary,” it’s just three minutes in the morning and three minutes in the evening, and at the end of each week it asks you five questions. Those questions can be anything from “What is a topic of conversation you can immerse yourself in?” or “What do you love and like about yourself and why?” The idea being, it focuses you on positive thinking, rather than negative. And the three minute things I have to do are, write what I’m grateful for in the morning when I wake up, how I’m going to make the day great, and like a positive affirmation. Then in the evening you write what you did in the day that was good, what you’d like to improve, and three great things you experienced. And that really helps me focus on the good things that, when I was upset, I was massively taking for granted. Having the reflection time to think about these things and having this journal that forces me to think about them helps as well. Take the time to do the things that make you happy, and try not not to worry about other people’s thoughts on those things.
Me: Why do you think it’s important to open up a dialogue about mental health?
Callun: We touched on it earlier on, and people don’t talk because they fear being stigmatized. If you’re open about it, it’s, “a problem shared is a problem halved,” sort of thing. It’s not healthy for us to hold these things in and hold them all to ourselves, because it will make you ill. You might be having a bad thought, if you keep it bottled up, then you’ll think about it at night, then your sleep will be impacted, and because your sleep is impacted, your mood is then impacted as well. So just by opening up and making someone else aware that you are struggling, it takes some of that pressure away from you. It’s not uncommon, like we said everyone is going to have a time in their life where they feel this way. The more you try to suppress it, the more stigma there is going to be. If everyone is suppressing it, we can’t have this conversation and help each other. It should not be hidden, or be fucking judged.
Me: I wanted to mention some statistics from the charity you partnered with, Mind. In the U.K. 1 in 4 adults will endure mental health struggles, but only 1 in 8 people will seek treatment for themselves. Why do you think people neglect treatment for themselves?
Callun: I think it definitely depends on the individual. Some people fear being told that something is wrong with them. I’ve seen a lot of people, as soon as they’re told that they have depression or anxiety, they see it as defeat straight away. Like they cling to it, and suddenly it becomes them, you know what I mean? You’re more than the thoughts that go on in your head.
I also think a lot of people don’t find treatment because they think it makes them look weak. According to Mind, males aged over 40 have one of the highest suicide rates in the U.K. and it goes back to the stigma of “boys don’t cry,” and that sort of thing. It creates a toxic mindset. So if you’re a man and you’re feeling down, you’re almost not allowed to talk about these kinds of issues. That’s something that I felt from my own experience, I was always worried about speaking up because of how people would see me, like I didn’t cry for ages because of that stigma. I think a lot of people don’t get treatment because they fear being seen as weak, and it’s almost like getting help is admitting defeat, when actually getting help is the best thing you can do to win over those thoughts.
Me: I wholeheartedly agree. We seek treatment for all of our physical ailments, why not mental ailments?
Callun: Exactly, mental health is physical health. if you break your leg you aren’t going to neglect that, you aren’t going to decide to live with a broken leg. You want to heal your legs to walk, you need to heal your mind to think. Just because it’s not a physical condition, doesn’t mean it isn’t a condition. Don’t neglect your mind, like you wouldn’t neglect your body.
Me: That’s all the questions I have for you man, thank you so much for spending your time and having this conversation with me.
Callun: Fantastic! Yeah this has been amazing man, thanks for the opportunity. It’s really good to have a conversation about this stuff, thank you.
Callun was very kind and candid with me in discussing his personal difficulties with mental health, and I am immensely grateful. I know how difficult it can be just speaking on these topics for some, not to mention being openly vulnerable with a complete stranger. If you or a loved one is grappling with their mental health, please start a conversation. The more open we are about our own challenges, the easier it will be for others to enter the discussion and find the help they need. Check in on your friends, and start a conversation about mental health. Visit the links below for more mental health resources, as well as Contendunt‘s video and blog about the subject.
Mental Health Resources, U.K.:
Samaritans Helpline: dial 116 123, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
SANEline: call 0300 304 7000
National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK: 0800 689 5652
Mental Health Resources, U.S.:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline: 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)
Mental Health Resources, EU:
Photos/ Video of Callun and his athletes courtesy of Contendunt Streetwear
Mind logo courtesy of mind.org.uk
Anti parkour sign courtesy of Getty Images