by Avery Rush
On our instagram page (@teamembracemh) we recently highlighted NBA All-Star Kevin Love. Love has been incredibly open about his struggle with mental health and is a proponent of others being open about their mental health as well. He also created The Kevin Love Fund which “strives to inspire people to live their healthiest lives while providing the tools to achieve physical and emotional well being.” He recently made an intriguing investment into a new form of fitness. This is not your standard physical fitness gym, there will not be treadmills and squat racks; instead, this is a mental fitness gym.
Coa, the name of the up and coming business, is a mental fitness gym that began as pop ups across North America in New York, San Francisco, L.A., Vancouver, and Toronto. They had enough success to encourage them to open brick and mortar stores; they believe that there are intangible positives associated with in person sessions over being completely online. However, due to the pandemic they adapted as demand soared with a 900% increase!
They want us all to reimagine how we view mental health. In many parts of the world we view mental health as something that only needs to be addressed when it is poor/broken. Coa wants us to view mental fitness just as an athlete would view physical fitness. You can’t run to the gym the day before a competition and double your max lifts, you have to put in the time. For another frame of reference, look at it like a doctor’s visit. Ideally, you go at least once a year to make sure you are alright, you don’t wait until you start having blinding pain to get a checkup. Your current emotional health should not prevent you from working on strategies to protect it, help it rebound, and/or work towards improvement.
With the drastic changes we have seen in our everyday lives, and in our society as a whole, over the last ten months, mental health has once again jumped near the forefront of national attention. Co-founder and chief clinical officer Dr. Emily Anhalt said “I think what people are realizing is that mental health is important and that we can’t see a lot of the mental health struggles that we’ll face coming. We’re trying to use this to show working on your mental health proactively will help you better prepare and better handle the difficult things life throws your way. I think people are starting to realize how important that is and are recommitting to doing it.”