New program trains and mentors youth athletic coaches and video game enthusiasts to reach youth
with life saving mental health support
Today, Harry’s announced the winner of its Open Minds Initiative: a search for the next great idea to change the state of mental health in the U.S. Through Harry’s partnership and the donation of $5M the winner will bring their idea to life over the next three years. After months of reviewing game-changing ideas and applications, Harry’s has selected Team: Changing Minds as the winner of the Open Minds Initiative.
In partnership with Futures Without Violence, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and founding investor Harry’s, Team: Changing Minds will launch a groundbreaking national network of mental health responders dedicated to helping teens and young men recognize signs of early mental health challenges and connect them to resources for support. The program will leverage the wide appeal of video games and youth sports to train over 200,000 youth and adult mental health responders who are active in these and other popular youth activities, with the goal of reaching 1 million people in its first 3 years.
“We are thrilled to come together with our partners Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing to launch Team: Changing Minds later this year,” said Brian O’Connor of Futures Without Violence. “With deep gratitude to Harry’s, we’ll be able to enlist thousands of youth coaches, mentors, and other adults and peer influencers to bring life-saving mental health support to boys, particularly young men of color, now at a time when it’s needed most.”
While half of all chronic mental health challenges begin by age 14, it takes over ten years on average until most people access help, with Black, Indigenous and other young men of color least likely to access support. By increasing the number of young men who connect to support earlier in their life trajectories, Team: Changing Minds offers promise to decrease suicides in the U.S. among men, who currently make up 79% of deaths from suicide.”
“Of all demographic groups, young men are the least likely to get mental health support. The consequences are devastating and we, at Harry’s, understand that there is so much more work to be done in the space,” said Harry’s co-founder and co-CEO Jeff Raider, “We are incredibly grateful to partner with Team: Changing Minds to change the way we view mental health as a society and provide the resources young men need to seek help so that we can make an impact.”
Harry’s Open Minds Initiative builds on the company’s longstanding commitment to promoting better mental health care for men. Since the men’s care brand launched in 2013, Harry’s has set aside 1% of sales to its social mission. In 2019, Harry’s shifted its social mission focus to providing men with access to better mental healthcare, working with incredible organizations that have made a big impact in the mental health space, particularly for young men, LGBTQ folks, Veterans and Black communities. To date, the brand has donated more than $8M and helped over 900,000 men get the care they need.
We founded Harry’s because buying shaving supplies was a frustrating experience, and the products themselves were overpriced and over-designed. We saw an opportunity to create a brand that encourages guys to rethink their routines and since taking on shaving, have begun to address the same challenge across other categories in men’s care, including body and hair.
At Harry’s, we aim to always put our customers first, which means being readily available however and wherever they want to shop – whether that’s Harrys.com or one of our retail partners – and giving to organizations that promote better mental health care for men. We set aside 1% of our sales to donate to charitable organizations that share our ambition to bring quality mental health care to men everywhere. Our goal is to provide 1.5 million men with mental health care access by 2024.
We built Harry’s as a brand for guys who want to carve out their own path. At the heart of our mission is a belief in creating things people like more. For more information on Harry’s, please visit https://www.harrys.com/en/us.
About Team: Changing Minds
Team: Changing Minds is a collaboration between Futures Without Violence, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and National Council for Mental Wellbeing. These national organizations have come together because big challenges aren’t solved alone.
With a founding investment from Harry’s, Inc., Team: Changing Minds will launch later this year (in 2022), and will be the first of its kind national network of mental health responders embedded in the activities kids love – and specializing in reaching young people, male-identified youth, and especially young men and boys of color.
The program is designed to help young people recognize the signs of mental health challenges and connect to supports earlier in their lives, before those challenges potentially become crises in adulthood. Watch the Team: Changings Minds video here.