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Tough Enough To Care

1849. Stuart Bratt

Stuart Bratt, from Dudley, is an Armed Forces veteran who set up ‘Tough Enough to Care’ in 2020 to raise awareness of male mental health and help remove the stigma of ‘man up’ culture in male-dominated environments.

Stuart Bratt

Having lost two friends to suicide, Stuart wanted to take action to ensure men feel able to speak up about their mental health and seek help where needed. He was inspired by seeing beer mats placed in a pub which carried simple messaging about checking up on a friend who may have been quiet or missing lately, and decided to enlist friends and volunteers over social media to help him create his own. Since then, ‘Tough Enough To Care’ has distributed over 50,000 beer mats and 10,000 emergency cards worldwide, with the latest parcel reaching as far as Australia. The initiative also runs weekly support sessions at multiple venues in the West Midlands and has developed a peer-to-peer support hub online, a 24-hour messaging service where people can gain advice and be signposted towards other charities and groups, dependent on circumstance.

Stuart’s award coincides with Time To Talk Day, the annual awareness day encouraging people to start conversations about mental health and wellbeing.

In a personal letter to Stuart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“I was very sorry to learn of the loss of two of your friends to suicide and so all the more inspired to learn of your work at ‘Tough Enough To Care’.

“With your weekly support groups and 24-hour messaging service, you are helping people in moments of need. As we mark ‘Time To Talk Day’, I am delighted to recognise your work to open up vital conversations around mental wellbeing, particularly for men.”

Stuart said:

“This award is for everybody that supports ‘Tough Enough To Care’, in recognition of their selfless dedication and passion towards helping others. From a small group of friends feeling the pain of loss through suicide, we have created a worldwide movement where there is now hope for those feeling alone in the dark. To be recognised for this national award is truly an honour and on behalf of the ‘Tough Enough To Care’ team, I would like to thank everyone for their daily support in getting our message out there to help others.”

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The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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