AskNowSaveLives: Jake Tyler

“What makes me happy? Eating cinnamon swirls”

Jake Tyler is a mental health campaigner, advocate and writer. After reaching a point where depression and suicidal thoughts had engulfed his life, Jake reached out to a loved one, and with their support he made the decision to get help.

Jake regained his life through seeking support and turning to exercise as a form of self-care and recovery. After setting himself the goal of walking 3,000 miles across the UK, he took part in the BBC series ‘Mind Over Marathon’ which documented him taking up running and training for the London Marathon alongside 9 others who had also faced mental health struggles.

He has written his first book, ‘A Walk From The Wild Edge’ about taking back control of his life through his 3,000 mile journey around the UK, and along the way finding peace within himself and the world around him.

Jake will be running the 2021 Brighton Marathon with Grassroots to support our work and further the message that he has so passionately advocated for: don’t be afraid to reach out and speak about how you’re feeling – it could save a life.

How are you feeling today?

I feel good today. I feel rested and excited about the day and I feel good in myself, so 7/10 I’d give it.

What can you see from your window?

A balcony which is somewhere I love to sit and listen to seagulls

What makes you happy?

Loads of stuff. Sitting on my balcony, eating cinnamon swirls. Eating makes me really happy actually, lots of eating. Running, music, time spent with my friends, time spent on my own. A lot of things make me happy it’s just knowing which of those things to do to make me feel happy in a certain moment which is the tricky bit.

“I always tell myself if I start to feel suicidal – things will always get good again, and they always do.”

We all need support sometimes – where do you get yours?

I’m very fortunate that I have a very loving and supportive partner who helps me whenever I feel low, she’s very good at picking me up when I’m down. My family are very supportive as well, and I have a special group of friends who I have a Whatsapp group with, and I never feel like a burden in there because no one else is treated like one. It’s a group where supporting each other emotionally is the foundation, and I feel very lucky to have that.

Why is preventing suicide important to you?

I’ve had suicidal thoughts a lot, and I got to a point where I thought that suicide was the only way out, I nearly did it and I’m very glad that I didn’t because it balanced out in the end. I was able to get through a really dark, painful time in my life. Things will get good again, I think, that’s the thing I always tell myself if I start to feel suicidal – things will always get good again, and they always do. That’s just me, and I’m sure there’s people out there who feel like it will never happen, but I feel like you’ve got to give it a chance because there’s a lot about life that is pretty great, and pretty amazing.

If a friend came up to me when I was feeling suicidal and asked me if I was feeling suicidal, it would have been a lot easier for me to say yes then, than to reach out to somebody that I love, because at that point I didn’t really think that anyone loved me, and in reaching out at that point of crisis, it’s an opportunity for everyone involved to show how much they mean to each other. Asking if people need to talk about it is as important as people having to talk about it when they’re in there, and in fact it’s a lot easier to do the other way around.