Northamptonshire war veteran to take on 385-mile bike ride to represent the amount of men who take their own lives every month

The 44-year-old veteran is passionate about helping mental health causes after he attempted suicide himself five years ago

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 8:30 am

A Northamptonshire war veteran is set to take on a 385-mile bike ride next week to represent the 385 men who take their own lives every month in the UK.

Nick Wilson, from Towcester, served in the army in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Northern Ireland for 14 years.

The 44-year-old suffers with seven prolapsed discs in his spine, Fibromyalgia and chronic daily pain and has since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) having witnessed horrific war scenes.

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Nick Wilson will cycle 385 miles next week.

Now the veteran-turned-public speaker is taking on the bike ride as part of a wider #385challenge to help organisations raise funds for their mental health services.

Nick will set off on his grueling ride from Margate to Land’s End on June 12, as June 14 marks the beginning of Men’s Health Awareness Week.

He said: “My spine disorder is degenerative.

“Every day of my life I am in chronic pain but I try to focus on ability rather than disability and I want to show others with physical and/or mental health challenges, you can thrive in life, as opposed to merely surviving.”

Five years ago Nick, himself, attempted to end his life.

Of the people lost to suicide 75 percent are men and it is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45.

Nick added: “The 385 miles are to represent the 385 (on average) men who take their own lives in the UK every month.

“It’s a serious challenge fraught with danger and unknowns but that’s the whole point.

“I’m still finding my way back to better mental health.

“I want to make it clear that it is possible and that physical health and mental health are in many ways part of the same equation.”

Nick is also calling on people around the UK to join in with their own form of 385 challenge. “We already have someone aiming to lose 385 ounces in weight and another person performing 385 pull-ups,” he continued.

“What can you do 385 of during Men's Health Week?”

Find our more about joining in the on the #challenge385 here and to sponsor Nick visit his online giving page here.If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.