About the Book


‘Man up!’ ‘Grow a pair!’ ‘Big boys don’t cry!’

These are just some of the unhelpful phrases that are still said to boys and men on a daily basis. This book seeks to challenge the stigma of mental illness and encourage men not to man up, but to open up instead.

Old school friends Fabian and Patrick, who have both struggled with their mental health, have collected over 50 stories by men with real lived experiences, young and old, from all walks of life and with a range of mental illnesses, who share their experience and advice for other men.

The stories in Big Boys Don’t Cry? are eye-opening and moving, helpful and hopeful, but above all they are empowering for men (and women) who will realise, often for the first time, that others are experiencing the same inner turmoil and pain as them.


About the Authors


Fabian Devlin


Fabian, 44, is a freelance communications consultant who lives with his wife and daughter in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. He has worked in communications for nearly 20 years in jobs at ITV, Sky, The National Lottery and, most recently, the national children’s charity Chance to Shine, before setting up his own consultancy. 

Fabian is passionate about mental health and volunteers for the anti-stigma social movement Time to Change and also for the Action for Happiness charity. In his spare time, he loves playing and watching cricket, hanging out with his daughter (who tries to teach him TikTok dances!) and going on long walks with his dog, Star.   


Patrick Addis



Patrick, 44, is a school teacher who has worked for over 20 years at both primary and secondary level, winning the Jack Petchey Award For Outstanding Service to young people in 2007. He is passionate about helping men find their voice and feels working as a supportive community is a good way of doing this.


Patrick has set up a men’s running and football group and have been involved with men’s groups at his local church. He enjoys playing with his daughters, spending time with his wife and playing every type of sport. He wants men to live life to the full and hopes they find the answers in this book.