Herman’s Hands is an Australian Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention Clothing Brand.
My name is Brendan McDonnell.
I’m a 27 year old Muay Thai and Fitness Trainer from Adelaide, SA living in Bondi, NSW.
In November of 2007 my dad took his own life and I was the first person to discover his body.
I was 15 at the time.
My dad also left behind a suicide letter personally addressed to me.
In it he told me that he didn’t want to expose me to all the “doom and gloom” that had taken over his life.
The doom and gloom he was referring is mental illness.
My experiences have had a profound impact on my life and still affect me in a very real way to this day. They are not something I would wish upon my worst enemy.
In 2015 I made a choice to do all I can to help prevent the doom and gloom that took my dad’s life and continues to haunt me and my family from reaching others.
I shared my life and experiences in great detail on my blog, www.brendanmcdonnell.com, which has resonated with thousands.
I didn’t want what I’d shared to simply fade away so I attached my messages to something tangible. In June of 2016 I launched Herman’s Hands.
Herman was my dad’s nickname.
By using clothing as a vehicle for spreading awareness Herman’s Hands aims to Create Dialogue and Inspire Change.
Herman was a Tattoo Artist, Motorcycle Mechanic, Bouncer, Biker, Businessman, Criminal, Brother, Uncle, Son, Husband, Father and Friend. He was a very strong and influential person. He was a Teacher and a Mentor to many. He was a lot things, but he still suffered from mental illness.
No one understood the gravity of what had taken hold of my dad before it was too late. Mental Illness consumed him like many other strong men before him.
If men like Herman and Brendan can feel this way, you can too.
All of the Herman's Hands graphics and imagery so far are directly inspired by Herman’s life as a Tattooist, Hardman and Father in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.
They reflect who Herman was as a man.
Mate, Suicide is a fucking epidemic in this country. It is the leading cause of death of young Australians.
The Macho Aussie Male stereotype and associated culture heavily contribute to this heinous statistic. The culture both stands in the way of removing and contributes to the stigma surrounding mental health in this country.
Collectively we have to do more. I’m doing all I can. I need your help. You too can become an example for change.
I know that through Herman’s Hands we can break down and remove the ugly stereotype and culture and raise awareness.
With awareness of the doom and gloom it can be overcome.
I am living proof.
Grab a bit of merch if you like the look of it and rep it proudly.
If someone asks, tell them what it is and where it came from. Tell them who Herman is. Let Herman's Hands start the conversation for you.
You never know who you might help feel a little less alone in their struggle.
You never know who could be suffering in silence.
Three little words: Who is Herman?
Herman was my dad and this brand acts as his hands from wherever he is now.
Create Dialogue – Inspire Change.