Actor Kyle Stanger has struggled with his mental health since he was a child attending a Windsor boys school.
The 22-year-old, from London, who also works as a model, decided to drop out of school at 17 to deal with his issues.
At the time, a family member and a classmate had died by suicide.
Kyle tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I found myself saying how sad it was that so many men suffer from mental health problems but don’t do anything to change it.’
So Kyle sat down and explored how he could address the problem and inspire conversation.
What he came up with was a fashion brand, named Boys Get Sad Too, to raise awareness of the gendered aspect of mental health.
The label offers T-shirts, jumpers, socks and more with the shop’s name, all with 10% of the profits going to charity CALM.
Kyle has also grown their social media presence in order to promote the clothes and get rid of the taboo nature of the topic of suicide – and even Sadiq Khan is a fan of the brand.
Kyle says: ‘Education is the key and ending the stigma surrounding the subject is the way we will save men from reaching the point where they feel suicide is the only option.
‘I started the business from £0 and I had no experience of running a business, but I did have the determination and drive to try and change people’s lives.’
Kyle adds that he’s had hundreds of messages from customers sharing the amazing conversations they have had with strangers who have asked what their T-shirt or hoodie is about.
He continues: ‘I try to educate those who are already interested, while also making the issue known to people who had no idea about the mental health epidemic that men in society currently face.’
As the brand’s founder, Kyle is also open about his own experiences.
‘I had my own issues with mental health,’ he says. ‘I found that talk therapy was the answer to my issues. Being young I always felt that “talking” wasn’t a functional solution to any of my problems.
‘It was only once I had given it a chance I realised how much difference it made. I now do everything I can via social media to make people aware how fantastic talking can be as a method to help your mental health.’
The reception to the clothing line has been warm. Word-of-mouth has spread the business all over the world.
Kyle adds: ‘2020 will be a big year for us in terms of growing as a community.’
You can find more information on the Boys Get Sad Too website.
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