Tough Enough To Care – Supporting male mental health

Mind The Atlantic - Rowing for healthy minds. One aim of undertaking this 3,000 mile challenge is to raise money and awareness for mental health. Find out more about one of our chosen charities here...

Tough Enough To Care (TETC) was set up to remove the stigma that surrounds mental ill health in male dominated environments such as the military and the construction industry. From a standing start, TETC grew at an astounding rate proving that there was a need for our services. In under 12 months TETC gained registered UK charity status, they introduced and continue to run weekly male support groups at community locations, deliver mental health drop in sessions for employees, volunteers and members of various companies, emergency service hubs, amateur sports clubs and retail environments. As well as the workplace drop in sessions we have delivered informative mental health talks to a variety of audiences to help a provide a greater understanding of the effects of mental ill health, how to help yourself and how to spot the signs in others.

Stuart Bratt - Founder of TETC

Further to their physical meetings they offer online support on social media with over 60,000 followers where they post daily messages of positivity and tips on how to deal with and support yourself and others who struggle. In addition to the public page they have a private peer to peer support hub with nearly 2,000 members from around the world meaning there is always someone willing to talk 24/7.

They have distributed over 30,000 contact cards which are business card size and can be carried in a wallet or purse with contact details of several large mental health support lines including Samaritans and Combat Stress. With the help of Marston's Brewery and via their own delivery network they have distributed over 50,000 drinks mats internationally with messages of support for mental ill health and thought-provoking messages to check in on those that may be missing from the group.

Looking to the future they hope to open more venues for support meeting venues. They have trained their team of volunteers to all become mental health first aiders with 1 team member also becoming a MHFA instructor allowing them to deliver accredited Mental Health First Aid courses whilst also broadening the knowledge base of their team of volunteers.

Everything they currently deliver is free of charge and ran by a dedicated team of volunteers, all of whom have full time jobs and a busy family life. Tough Enough To Care is something they feel passionately about and work tirelessly in their spare time to provide the very best service to anyone that requires support.

During lockdown, TETC have provided mental health awareness training to volunteers for sports clubs up and down the country so that they are confident enough to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health in themselves and each other when organised sport can return. Sports clubs are at the heart of every community and that is why they chose to give something back to community volunteers that give so much.

A new service recently launched, that has been funded entirely by personal fundraising and public donations is The Tough Truck, a converted camper van which enables them to deliver mental health support to the heart of every community. TETC's trained volunteers will act as a mobile support group, offering support and advice to people in need. They hope to bridge the gap between someone reaching out and accessing professional mental health services. The sadly unavoidable delays into accessing professional help can often lead to a person reaching crisis point. TETC hope that with early intervention of friendly and non-judgmental listening, they can stop a person from reaching crisis point and further more, they want to stop communities from feeling the pain and loss caused by suicide.

The Tough Truck provides support for mental ill health whilst helping cut through the fog that often descends when trying to access professional support online. They do this by signposting to the networks that they would recommend, following a short conversation with the person in question. This removes the need for endless google searches where the huge amount of irrelevant information can often put people off. The truck has already been used to react to real time information where an individual has been missing and there has been a concern for their mental wellbeing. TETC successfully located the individual and stayed with them to access professional support and continue to keep in contact to help work through their care plan together with them. It is a vehicle for the community, funded by the community, with the community at the heart of everything we do.

This is a cause and a charity very close to the Mind The Atlantic Crew's hearts.

Help us raise money and donate to TETC here. Thank you.


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