At Tough Enough To Care we aim our focus toward male dominated spaces, to promote positive conversations around mental health and to remove the toxic stigma surrounding mental health within these spaces
We were founded in 2019 after Stu, our Founder & CEO lost two friends to suicide within 4 days. Up to that point, Stu was a product of male dominated environments where even talking about feelings or emotions was seen as a sign of weakness.
“As an Armed Forces veteran, industrial engineer that has played rugby my entire life, I fully understand the position men find themselves in, feeling they must be strong and silent and how damaging toxic masculinity can be, when it goes unchallenged. We all have our demons and darkest hours and for some, these are worse than others. We can feel that reaching out to talk to someone is a sign of weakness, somehow asking for help would make them less of a man…etc. Quite frankly, this vicious cycle needs to stop quickly.”
The idea stemmed from seeing a couple of beer mats with simple messages about checking on a mate who has been quiet or missing lately. This sparked something inside Stu and within a few hours of setting up a small Facebook group he had offers of help and support from so many people it was overwhelming. Withing less than 6 weeks of starting what was a small online movement, We had distributed over 50,000 beer mats and 10,000 emergency contact cards worldwide and our latest parcels have reached as far as Australia, the Falklands, Afghanistan, and Japan. Since January 2020 we have been a registered UK charity and have also proudly signed the Armed Forces Covenant.
We provide a one stop shop for mental health support. In the first instance, to provide somewhere for those seeking help, support or just someone different to talk to. We also want to offer guidance for others that have been affected because of mental health issues. Amongst our support offerings we have are weekly peer support groups providing non-judgemental environments for people to attend a support one another. We also run a free to use text support service, deliver free mental health training to non-profits, community groups and grass roots sports clubs. We believe that money should never be a barrier to accessing support or enhancing your knowledge around mental health, which is why all our services are completely free of charge to the end service user.
To date, we have delivered over 2,500 hours of FREE mental health training and supported over 6,300 people who have accessed our variety of services, and long may this continue as we grow and achieve our goal of supporting every person in need.
A final thanks must go to our army of volunteers who work tirelessly to support Tough Enough To Care and without them, we simply would not exist. They volunteer their own time to ensure others have support when they need it most.