May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Vancouver-based WIRTH Hats is offering hugs — for your head. The company is committed to breaking down the barriers for mental health support services, and through the sale of hats, they are helping fund counselling sessions for those in need.
WIRTH Hats was born in memory of co-founder Ben Miller’s friend Jakob Wirth. Jakob had a dream of creating a hat company. For him, hats weren’t just an accessory — they were the perfect addition to an outfit and a central part of what could make someone feel unique. Sadly, Jakob was never able to live out his dream; in 2014 he died by suicide. In honour of him, Ben created hats to share with friends and family — a reminder of Jakob and a reminder that mental health affects us all. Now, WIRTH Hats aims to reduce the stigma on counselling through the sale of hats and to share the story that has already impacted so many individuals. Through their efforts, the team helps provide financial assistance for counselling to those who are unable to afford it.
The pandemic has impacted the mental health of many Canadians. According to Statistics Canada, since Covid-19 began, fewer Canadians reported having excellent or “very good” mental health — 55% in July 2020 compared to 68% in 2019. Over the past year, WIRTH has seen a 1,000% increase in the demand for counselling support — making their fashionable hugs for your head all the more important.
For Mental Health Month this May, WIRTH Hats encourages Canadians to advocate for support and services, diminishing barriers that prevent people from accessing counselling. Consumers can peruse a collection of stylish hats, where proceeds go directly to their Counselling Program. Each individual who is sponsored by WIRTH Hats will receive four sessions of free counselling with a possibility for further support. Fans may purchase hats at retail price ranging from $55–65 CAD or opt for a 1-for-1, which allows your hat to pay for an entire counselling session. To date, WIRTH Hats has sponsored over 4,000 counselling sessions and hopes to continue providing support for people in need.
On April 30, six new hats will be released, marking the beginning of Mental Health Month. For the remainder of May, the team will continue to raise awareness and share important information about mental health. On May 1, WIRTH Hat’s Instagram page will feature a Mental Health Month PSA video, where with every share or comment, their partner Conconi Family Foundation will donate $1 to the counselling fund. In addition, social channels will feature informational videos and a mental health guide. WIRTH Hats is also excited to partner with B.C.-based artists, Annie Chen and Anthony Joseph to create and release limited-edition “artist series” hats, launching on May 3 and May 17 respectively.
Individuals worldwide are eligible to apply for free counselling services offered through the WIRTH Hats Counselling Program. To show your support for mental health and learn more, visit @wirthhats on Instagram on May 1 or visit wirthhats.com to apply for counselling or purchase a hug for your head.