Many see Nick Wilson as this confident, larger than life character who, aside from always having something to say, seems happy, outgoing and one that enjoys to joke around.
Not many will know, that Nick has raised over £50,000 for Charity during his time in the Armed Forces through planning and completing some outrageous events such as: "1000mile Non-stop 24hr European Cycle" coinciding with 60th Anniversary of D-Day and the "Basrah's First Valentines Half Marathon", that had over 450 Multi-National Military personnel taking part and was actually sponsored by the Sun newspaper.
However, in support of Mental Health Awareness Week '17, Nick Wilson has recorded himself talking about the demons that are inside, the fears and anguish he has faced, continues to face, all whilst admitting to destroy the relationships with those around him, least of all his two daughters!
Nick says: "You should really make the necessary changes for yourself rather than others, however I am not quite at that stage and so for me, I think of my gorgeous girls, how I wish they will one day understand and be proud of what I have achieved. One day I will think of me, the problem is......I have acted for so long, I don't know who Nick Wilson actually is anymore"!
Unfortunately, Nick is not alone and his story is not uncommon amongst thousands of Veterans, all of whom have their own dark story, one which should not and must not be able to consume it's owner through them not being able to talk about it, in fear of reprisals and judgement. This is why Nick has launched an online signposting and self-help website called First Step Forward, for those military service personnel, veterans, their partners, family and loved ones who struggle with the mental health challenges, faced on a daily basis.
The stigma surrounding Mental Health for all, regardless of whether you are military or civilian, must be overcome and all those with a story to tell, must be allowed to do so without the fear of reprisal or judgement.
"Let us be a nation who is willing and wanting to listen, one which refrains from judgement and who believes the responsibility we all have to embrace the T.A.S.K at hand, which is the power of Teamwork / Acceptance / Support / Knowledge, and the positive changes it can bring" - Nick Wilson