3 June 2019

Nick's Story

2,500km of road. 40,000m of climbing. One cause.
Mental Health | Real Stories
Following a personal battle with depression and anxiety that led to two suicide attempts, Nick Frendo is tackling some of cycling’s toughest sommets in aid of Movember and men’s health.

Nick, now 43, admits he didn’t talk about his feelings to anyone. “I just assumed I wasn’t designed to be happy,” says Nick, who has two daughters aged 14 and nine. “It was just my personality. For most of my life I thought, 'I’m moody and I’m angry.' I isolated myself and I never really felt that close to anyone.”

Thankfully, Nick eventually found the road to recovery. Paved largely by friends from the cycling community:

“I met this one group of cyclists who were a lot younger than me – late 20s early 30s and I found I relaxed a bit and started talking to them. Eventually something would just slip out. I’d think, 'Oh s***, I'm not sure I should have said that.’ But they were talking as well. As I rode with them over the weeks and months, I just felt I could talk to them, which was completely out of character.”

“Once I started talking to people, and outed myself, a cloud lifted. It wasn’t until the day I started talking to Oriana, my eldest daughter, Amelia, and my friends that I realised the cloud was even there. I put a post on Instagram talking about doing a fundraising bike ride to raise funds and awareness for mental health. I knew I had to be honest with people about why I was raising funds for The Movember Foundation. And since I’ve started talking about my story, it's become easier.”

Owen Sharp, CEO of Movember said: “Although we’ve been doing a better job of talking about mental health in recent years, we’re not doing a good enough job of reducing the numbers of men who are taking their own lives, as these latest figures show.

“One argument is the way men are brought up – believing that they have to be invincible, controlled and self-reliant at all times – is a big part of the problem. Factors that increase a man’s vulnerability to suicide include stressful incidents such as being made redundant, the breakup of a relationship or bereavement.

“Another factor is that many men find it difficult to talk about how they are feeling. They struggle in silence and don’t ask for help until it’s too late.”

Nick is riding over 3,000km across Europe to raise funds for Movember. To follow his progress and donate visit here.

Full Telegraph article here.

If you need to talk we urge you to head to weneedtotalk.movember.com for crisis support options. To speak with someone immediately, contact your local 24-hour support service.