5k run, walk and talk in Hemel to raise awareness of men's mental health

Paul set up Be Brave UK on Instagram to offer support to men

By Holly Patel
Friday, 14th August 2020, 3:19 pm
Updated Friday, 14th August 2020, 3:57 pm

A primary school teacher who grew up in Hemel Hempstead has created an Instagram page to raise awareness of men's mental health and wellbeing.

Paul Hughes set up Be Brave UK to encourage men to speak about the issues they are facing and help them find support.

On Wednesday afternoon, he organised a socially distanced 5k run, walk, talk in Gadebridge Park to encourage men to talk, while doing some exercise - he is hoping to organise more events across the county.

A 5k run, walk, talk in Gadebridge Park

The 34-year-old, who now lives in London, said: "I want to start my mental health project in my home town.

"I am passionate about mental health and in particular men’s mental health and wellbeing.

"I am aiming to raise awareness of men’s mental health issues and male suicide to ideally play a small part in preventing the issue.

"I have created @bebraveuk on Instagram and hope to inspire men to speak up about issues they may be facing and ideally that will lead them to finding the support they need.

5k run, walk, talk in Gadebridge Park

"If I help one person open up, or get help, then it is all worth it."

Paul wants the page to help men in a number of ways:

- To support men with mental illness and their wellbeing

- To raise awareness of depression, anxiety and suicide

Paul has set up the Be Brave UK Instagram page to raise awareness of mental health

- To empower men to discuss their mental health and create a culture of discussing our feelings

- To arrange events to promote awareness and fundraise for mental health groups, that give men opportunities to spend time with one another and boost their wellbeing.

Paul added: "Men across the UK have contacted me thanking me for the work Brave is doing and working on going around the country arranging events once we can!

"We are nearly up to 2k followers on Instagram and I have been approached from people all over the UK about doing various things - it's all very exciting.

"There will be lots on the page to support men and raise awareness of the issues they may be facing.

"There will be content from men across the UK who have shared their own experiences and how they cope.

"I will also be doing music posts focusing on songs with uplifting messages and shared playlists for listeners, 'Brave listens’.

"There will also be motivational posts and tips and idea to help lift your mood and wellbeing."

Paul is also in the process of running 100 kilometres throughout August to raise money for Mind - who support people going through depression, stress, suicidal thoughts and other mental health difficulties.

His target was £150, which he has already hit, to make a donation visit: virginmoneygiving.com/PaulHughes100k.

For more information visit Paul's Be Brave UK page: www.instagram.com/bebraveuk.