Role Model Q&A Jan 23

Boys in Mind Meets...

An Interview with Jonathan Brown from Bullfrog Bottles:

By: Jim Cumpson

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Who am I and who are we? I am the founder of Bullfrog bottles in Bath which sells eco driven water bottles, coffee cups and yoga apparel. We are always striving for a sustainable future we use high quality products which are reusable. Our ethos is all about community and we support local charities like Off the record, Southside and Boys in Mind which have had impact with the community on the ground. We work with Yoga teachers and personal trainers as well as the local community to support and talk about mental health. My mantra is ‘Let’s talk about how we feel’. I use Bullfrog to support my own mental health struggles, it helps me to channel my energy into the business. I believe in being very open and honest about my own mental Health. I am bipolar and this has given me many difficult times over the years but with the support of family and friends I have been able to address my own mental health.

How does the Brand support mental health? We use the Brand Bullfrog and the space for people to talk. I use the space for myself either early in the morning or after work I put on some music, dim the lights and just sit in the moment. I think it is vital to have a safe space for everyone where you are able to go and just be. It is also a great place to talk and listen. It is so important for young people especially men to talk about the taboo topics like suicide and depression but also have someone to relate to. At Bullfrog everything that is shared and discussed stays in that safe place. Some of the statistics about male suicide are frightening. We all need to find ways to relate and talk and listen.

What are the goals for yourself and the brand?  I’ve never forgotten where I come from and my history, this is important not only personally but for a community identity. Being a mental health advocate means I want to imbue whatever I’m involved in with positive male mental health attitudes, including the brand. It’s about being positive even when things aren’t always going well. I’m trying to create a place where we can break the negative stigma of mental health, where people can talk about how they feel and learn how to start the conversation. We’re all affected by mental health so if we can talk and find ways to cope, this will go a long way to improve the public image of mental health. This is a journey I’m still on. This is the ethos of the company and we are continually developing ways of presenting that ethos to our customers, the general public and local community through our healthy lifestyle products and safe space. 

How do you feel the image of mental health is progressing and where can we go from here?  Its image is definitely improving but there is still a long way to go. There is more attention on mental health issues now, that highlights how mental health has always been there but now it’s coming into focus, but that can always be improved. If we can have open and honest discussions in schools starting at a young age, particularly with boys and young men we can create a habit of honesty and normalisation of discussion. Having this awareness taught at a young age can increase the chance of these young boys and men getting the help they need in the future. Organisations like boys in mind are vital to this normalisation, with a focus of teaching and learning to listen. 

We’d like to thank John for the interview and Bullfrog for their support for the Bath Half Marathon 2022. Please visit the Bullfrog shop at 10 Kingsmead Square, Bath, BA1 2AB for the freshest, funkiest water bottles, cups and yoga accessories to take that next step into improving your mental health. Please also consider visiting for a chat or spending time in their safe space.

January 2023

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