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Man gives back to mental health initiatives through clothing sales
KITCHENER -- This is part three of a three-part series on mental health for #BellLetsTalk day. Part two was published on Jan. 29, 2020.
Tom Harman hopes to help end the stigma around mental illness one t-shirt at a time.
"I have a wife, I have a good job, great friends and supportive family," Harman says. "You would never know that I deal with anxiety, sometimes, on a daily basis."
Harman experienced his first panic attack at his doctor’s office when he was 28.
"This huge wave of emotion, nausea, tingling sensation over my body, my face, my hands, my knees, my elbows, not knowing what was happening, like the walls were closing in," Harman says.
"I had no idea what was happening, like the walls were closing in. I had no idea what was going on."
He shared his experience with his family and discovered his father had been taking anti-depressants for most of his life.
His father died of a heart attack in 2018, at the age of 64, just a month after Harman’s wedding.
"[He was] very outgoing, fun to be around. Nothing but positive memories about him," Harman says
Harman created the Home By Nine clothing company in his father’s memory.
"My father was the type of person, no matter where he was, he made sure he was home by nine. He was a homebody," says Harman.
Harman is now sharing his story and profits to support mental health awareness and services in his community.
"Every item sold, we take one dollar and donate it directly to the CMHA to get people the help they rightfully deserve," Harman says.
The money raised goes directly to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
For Harman, no matter what time it is, it's never too late to spread the word.