Gosport man raising awareness for men's mental health by taking part in a sky jump

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A COURAGEOUS dad is taking a stand to raise awareness for men’s mental health amid his own struggles.

Barny Hills, 31 from Gosport, has been on an uncomfortable journey over the past six months after struggling with his mental health – but he is now trying to raise awareness for other men who are going through the same experience.

The 31-year-old has been dealing with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, and when he thought things were looking up, everything came crashing to a halt again, resulting in him quitting his job as a head chef in a restaurant.

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Barny, who is happily married with two children, hit a low point in his life, and he said that it got to a point where suicide felt like the only option – but he has continued to fight for the sake of his family.

Barny Hills near his home in Gosport.

Picture: Habibur RahmanBarny Hills near his home in Gosport.

Picture: Habibur Rahman
Barny Hills near his home in Gosport. Picture: Habibur Rahman

He said: ‘Stay strong believe in yourself and others around you, my beautiful wife natasha and family have been my biggest support and stuck by my side to help me in anyway.’

In July, Barny is going to be jumping out of a plane in a bid to raise as much awareness as possible as well as raise funds for Mind.

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He said: ‘My own struggles with mental health and the battles I have been facing with everything from anxiety, depression and feeling suicidal. I have got the help now and I am on a programme where they are supporting me and this is all about getting the message out to others.’

Mind is a mental health charity that offers a number of services to support those who are dealing with a difficult time in regards to their mental health.

The charity has found that one in four people experience mental health problems and many of whom are not able to get the help they need.

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The Mental Health Foundation also found that in 2017, there were 6,000 suicides recorded in Great Britain and of these 75 per cent were men, making it imperative that people begin engaging in the conversation to raise awareness.

He added: ‘This isn't something that will ever go away and we as strong tough hard men should stand loud and proud and fight back.

‘It is not just about the money, it is a big thing for me to raise awareness of mental health.

‘At the moment, when you’re feeling down, you feel alone and it feels like no one cares about you, but there is so much help out there for you if you just know where to go and I don’t think it is easy trying to find it.’

Call Samaritans for free on 116 123, or email [email protected] or visit samaritans.org.

Speak with a mental health expert at Solent Mind on 023 8017 9049, between 8am-8pm.