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Colchester man to take on skydive to kick mental health stigma

PUBLISHED: 12:59 01 June 2018

Jordan Bagley, flanked by friends Jack and Adam, is facing his fear of heights to encourage people to open up about their mental health. Left to right: Jordan Bagley, Adam Brown, Jack Szmodics Picture: JORDAN BAGLEY

Jordan Bagley, flanked by friends Jack and Adam, is facing his fear of heights to encourage people to open up about their mental health. Left to right: Jordan Bagley, Adam Brown, Jack Szmodics Picture: JORDAN BAGLEY

JORDAN BAGLEY

A man from Colchester is set to take on a terrifying skydive to raise money for a mental health charity close to his heart.

Jordan Bagley, 26, wants to put an end to the stigma around mental health Picture: JORDAN BAGLEYJordan Bagley, 26, wants to put an end to the stigma around mental health Picture: JORDAN BAGLEY

Jordan Bagley, 26, decided to set himself the challenge to raise awareness of mental illness – and encourage people to open up about their feelings.

Mr Bagley, who suffers from anxiety and depression, is raising money for SANE, a charity that campaigns to end the stigma around mental health.

He said he wanted to face his crippling fear of heights to show just how much he cared about the issue.

“I have suffered with depression for a number of years,” he said. “I felt weak and vulnerable, obviously being a male, so I have always kept it in. As much as I was struggling myself, I wanted to raise awareness.

“My biggest fear is heights – I can’t even get four steps up a ladder. I wanted to do something where I can tackle my fear but at the same time express how much this means to me.”

Mr Bagley is braving the dive with his best friends Jack Szmodics and Adam Brown, both 26.

“They are two of my closest friends and they have supported me massively with what I have been going through,” he said.

Mr Bagley’s journey with mental illness began at the tender age of six, when he began to feel suffocated by the stigma attached to men expressing their emotions.

“It is something that has built up over years and years,” he said. “I started to open up to Jack and his family, and my family. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to deal with, to admit to them I have problems.”

Mr Bagley is a huge advocate for talking therapy – which he thinks is “the best medication”.

He said: “One of the biggest things I want to get out of this is to get people to talk. Depression is a silent killer – people aren’t talking. I built up that strength to talk to someone, and I have realised I am okay with the fact that I have got problems – I am really honest about it.

“People risk their own lives because they think they have no one to talk to. There is always someone to talk to – in the bigger picture people are not alone. Talking is the first step to recovery.

“I was scared to admit I was struggling because I was scared of what people would think. It is okay to not be okay. I have come to realise as much as I was scared to admit it, people have to talk. It has inspired me to think, if I can do it, other people can do it.”

The sponsor Mr Bagley’s skydive, go to his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jordan-jack-adam.

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