Paul Hughes, who grew up in Hemel Hempstead, has founded a charity which aims to improve the lives of men suffering with their mental health and wellbeing.
Brave UK began in early July and already has an Instagram following of over 3,000 people from around the UK.
Paul said: “I was obviously aware of what people were going through as a result of the pandemic and what a worrying time it is for everyone. The page began with motivational posts whilst also raising awareness of mental health and suicide statistics. People engaged with the content and we have now set up as a small charitable organisation.”
One feature of the page has proved particularly effective. ‘Brave Real Talk’ features men from across the UK sharing their mental health experiences and offering tips and advice to others.
Paul added: “that is key to what we are trying to do – making men feel able to express themselves without fear or judgment. Talking about our issues can make such a difference. We have had men from around the country message in and say how reading others stories has made them open up to friends and family so it is amazing to see that it is making a difference to some people out there.”
As well as the groups online content, Brave also runs events where men are encouraged to come out and take part in different activities.
After the group’s initial success, they are now setting up as a charity and have appointed trustees to help them on their journey.
He continued: “We want to raise money which will help our development and lead to us being able to host bigger events.
“Male suicide statistics are so saddening to read – if what we do helps even one person out there, then it is all worth it.”