Mansfield’s menswear line inspired by his mental health struggles

After battling mental health issues, a Mansfield man has launched his own clothing line. The clothing line, which premiered this year, has a growing following on social media.

Alex Crawshaw, 33 and from Mansfield, is currently studying sports science and working online providing exercise therapy. His clothing brand is called ‘Styring’, the name comes from the ancestor of the student Styrbjorn who was a famous Viking.

Alex, who attended Manor Comprehensive School in Mansfield Woodhouse, spoke about his inspiration for his clothing brand. He said: “I just started the clothing brand and decided to create sports and leisure wear to promote mental health awareness and provide funds to support my goals of providing mental health therapy. Free online exercise and personal training for people with mental illness.

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“My passion for bodybuilding and mental health is the inspiration for my clothing line and encourages all individuals to engage in physical activity for the benefit of their mental and physical health.” Alex’s non-profit clothing brand now sponsors Ashland Rovers football team in Nottinghamshire to support mental health awareness. Ashland Rovers are based in Kirby-In-Ashfield.

Styring sells t-shirts for £25 and hoodies for £35. The brand also sells leggings and jogging bottoms, the clothing brand is risk-free as the products are shipped direct. Speaking about his mental health, Alex said: “I have schizophrenia which is currently under control with medication and I have taken many anti-psychotic medications over the years but the best combination has been amisulpride and quetiapine for me.

“I’ve had a lot of support from the NHS over the years. I currently see a psychologist once a week and receive support every day. When Alex struggles mentally now, he finds music therapeutic and his family has been very supportive as well.

In addition to his clothing brand, Alex, who holds a graduate degree in health care and a basic degree in health care, will offer therapeutic exercises for people suffering from mental illness. Alex said: ‘I’m not a counselor or psychotherapist but I use counseling skills in my exercise therapy, have a level 3 in personal training and am starting a PhD in public health in September.

“I am currently studying sports science which should be finished in the next few months. My exercise therapy focuses on developing rational thinking and self-acceptance, I use sports psychology techniques, and I focus on strength training to improve mental health.

“I’ve had people very interested in our exercise therapy and I’ve helped quite a few people so far. I’m getting more and more of a following on social media and I’ve had positive feedback. I have received funding from Mansfield District Council to provide mental health football groups and will seek more funding in the future to provide sport and exercise lessons for people with mental illness in Nottingham .”

In the future, Alex hopes to provide online therapy to those in need and inspire others to exercise. He said: “My goal is to continue to provide online exercise therapy and personal training to help prevent mental illness and support people with mental illness. I want to eventually use the profits to set up a mental health friendly gym and provide sports and exercise groups in Nottinghamshire initially and then expand. I hope I can eventually employ people with mental illness and provide peer support.

John Dawn, Chairman of Ashland Rover, said: “As Chairman of Ashland Rovers FC, I was delighted when Alex approached me. We are more than aware of mental health issues and We’re thrilled to team up with Styring to help promote mental health awareness.”

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