Gruelling 84 Challenge to raise suicide awareness

A Black Country charity founder is starting a unique challenge to raise awareness of men's mental health and suicide.

Stuart Bratt, of Dudley, who has set himself a 84 day personal challenge
Stuart Bratt, of Dudley, who has set himself a 84 day personal challenge

Stuart Bratt, 35, set up Tough Enough to Care after two of his close friends took their own lives.

Stuart, who lives in Dudley, wanted to raise some funds for the charity – and set up the 84 Challenge and is encouraging others to join in. For Stuart's challenge, for 84 days he will be eating no sugar or takeaways, not smoking and not drinking beer, as well as completing a minimum of 8.4 kilometres of exercise a day and 84 reps of either press-ups, sit-ups or burpees.

He said: "I am the founder of Tough Enough to Care, a men's mental health charity. The idea behind the 84 Challenge is that 84 UK males take their lives sadly each week. I just want to try and highlight that figure – so I decided to do something and lead from the front. I can't ask other people to fundraise for me if I don't do it myself.

"So I came up with the 84 Challenge, what we are doing as a charity is asking people could they raise £84 however they choose, whether it's baking, an online quiz, a fitness challenge, whatever they choose. My personal challenge is 84 days of no alcohol, no smoking, no takeaways, no sugar, a minimum of 8.4 kilometres exercise a day and a minimum of 84 reps a day – of either press-ups, sit-ups or burpees. It was something to take me out of my comfort zone, and it can fit around my full-time job as an engineer and running the charity in my spare time.

Stuart is doing 84 reps a day of press-ups, sit-ups or burpees

"It will really give me a challenge. Some people might look at it and think that's not a challenge – but for me it is quite a huge challenge. I'm on day nine and it is really tough for me."

Stuart added: "The reason I started the charity was that I lost two friends to suicide within days of each other. We are nearly two years on since starting Tough Enough to Care which was purely just a Facebook which has grown and grown.

"It's just shocking still to read that 84 UK men a week are choosing to take their own life and that was the last statistics that were done last year. The worrying thing is during lockdown and everything, it could be higher. It is just to get the word out there, to raise awareness and remove the stigma so that men are comfortable speaking out and seeking help."

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/brattys84. For more information about the charity or to take part in the 84 Challenge, visit toughenoughtocare.help or search for 'Tough Enough to Care' on Facebook.

If you have been affected by this article, you can call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit Samaritans.org.

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