The aim of this project is to raise an initial £10,000 to develop a charity and platform for men across the UK, suffering with Mental Health Issues.
In February 2016, after a long battle with depression, I intentionally crashed my car in to a wall at a high speed in an attempt to end my own life. Despite having a very supportive and understanding partner and family, I personally found it impossible to talk to anyone about my issues, and I am confident I am not alone in this. It isn't always easy to talk, and for some men, no matter how hard we try, we find it an impossible task to open up and share our feelings.
Since my suicide attempt, I have tried counselling sessions and have seen some positives in the services, but I feel very strongly that more needs to be done. After reaching out to the counselling service, I was told that I would be added to a waiting list, and would be seen by a counsellor in 4-6 months. For some men, this isn't enough time, and 4-6 months is a long enough time to develop their depression into considering suicide. The only thing that was suggested to consider in the meantime was a different counselling service, who again had their own waiting list.
For me, it would have been very beneficial to have been directed to an online platform, with online counselling available. I did research in to online counselling services, and the average online counselling service costs £32 per hour, which is extortionate, and was enough to put me off trying it. I also found that the amount of questions asked on online support platforms was very daunting, and due to being irrelevant to how I was feeling, it felt very intrusive.
I have spent months thinking of a more effective solution to this growing problem, and have come up with a collection of ideas, which will form under the charity name '84'. Despite lots of attempts in recent years to increase awareness of Men's Mental Health issues, and to make more men feel comfortable opening up, there is still not enough being done, as an average of 84 men commit suicide every week in the UK.
The Charity 84 will develop over the next 12 months, as we will rely on crowdfunding and donations to help us achieve our goals, and our ambition is to become the leading Men's Mental Health Charity in the UK by July 2020. While we are aware that this a hugely ambitious goal, we have a very strong plan, and with support, we will be able to implement all of our creative ideas to help us achieve our goal. If we can help to save just one man from suicide, the project will be a success, but our goal is so much bigger than this.
Our main purpose is to help people in need of support, with a team of specialist counsellors available 24/7, who will only charge whatever the customer can afford to pay, which will be at their discretion. The rest will be subsidised by advertising, sponsors and supporters, to help increase peoples quality of life and hopefully prevent suicide attempts. We also hope to raise further awareness of mental health issues and how to identify them in those close to you, and hope to do this using the website, adverts, and a creatively developed clothing line.
We will require support only financially, but also with raising awareness. We are currently in talks with both national and local newspapers to launch an advert to bring people to this crowdfunding page, and we are also hoping to find opportunities to appear on national television to raise further awareness of the work we are doing. We are in talks with celebrity managers, and we are confident that celebrities will get on board, as this is part of our growth plan.
The website will be the main source of support for people, with personal log in details, a secure chat area, a huge, varied library of supporting materials, contact details, and an easy to use calendar to log your feelings and thoughts. Everything on the site will also be avaialble on iOS and android apps, and will be completely anonymous if requested. We will never ask invasive questions, and will be a support platform to enable people to help themselves at their own pace and in their own time and method.
We are also in the process of developing a fashion line, featuring t shirts, shirts, jumpers, hoodies, shorts and jeans, and all profits made from this line will be used to develop the charity further. Not only will the clothing line help raise vital funds, but it will also raise vast awareness of the brand and get people talking. The brand will have a high end, luxury fashion appearance, at the lowest possible rate. Further details and designs will be released in July 2018.
Please see a brief outline of our goals for the next few months, which will be updated regularly to keep you in the loop:
- Develop the brand
- Develop the Charity Manifesto
- Launch Crowdfunder page
- Speak with Celebrity Managers to gain endorsements
- Speak with Newspapers around the UK to gain exposure
- Speak with other advertisers (including Lorry Advertising)
- Raise £3,000 to develop website, brand, manifesto and avertising
- Find a sponsor and Primary Advertiser
- Release designs for Clothing line and take pre-orders
- Launch Newspaper adverts, getting people to view both the website and crowdfunder page
- Launch National Lorry and Billboard advertising campagin (only possible once £3,000 has been raised).
- Release the Charity Manifesto publicly, to give a better understanding of our goals
- Make one National Television appearance (i.e., Good Morning Britain, Loose Women or This Morning)
- In Depth Interview with a celebrity, discussing their own experiences
- First Celebrity endorsement of the Charity
- Raise an additional £2,000 monthly from now
- Find secondary sponsors and advertisers to support the brand
- First wave of Clothing Line will launched and advertised, and available on the website and online store
- 3 Further Celebrity Endorsements
- Celebrity endorsement of the clothes
- Further TV appearance to raise awareness
- Fully functioning website, with full functionality and over 3,000 members
- Recognised Nationally, as a leading support platform for all men
- Wave 2 of the clothing range launched
Please share this campaign as far as possible, and let's come together to support men all around the UK who suffer daily with depression and anxiety. Nobody should feel alone, and no man should be afraid to seek help.
Together, we can bring men together and win this battle as one.
Thank you very much for your donations and shares!