Jamie and Helen

My name is Jamie and when I lost my wife, Helen my best friend showed me it really is OK to ask for help.

When my wife Nic was just 35, she was diagnosed with cancer.  I nursed Nic for just over four months, watched the cancer slowly take her. I’d gone from running my own business to being a full-time carer, and both dad and mum to our son. After her death, I was drowning. I lost my business, our family home and my self-respect. The past seven years have seen me suffer from a wide-ranging catalogue of mental health problems: depression, anxiety, insomnia and lack of confidence.

“Helen my best friend really helped me understand it really is OK to ask for help – don’t wait until you’re drowning.”

In times of trouble, it’s easy to feel that there is a “correct way” of dealing with it – pulling on big boy pants and just getting on with it.  I was fine, thank you very much, no really. But with Helen’s support I recognised I was at crisis point. I felt like I was at my worst, but Helen wouldn’t let me push her away.

No matter what, she was there to support me, understanding what I felt, telling me we would get through it together. Emotional support, friendship and a shoulder to cry on as my world turns upside down? Yes please.


In fact Helen and I have now created a social enterprise to help others in a similar situation. We launched a campaign this year called “not waving”, raising awareness to say that it really is OK to ask for help – don’t wait until you’re drowning.

If you are struggling our charity partners run support services that may be able to help. CALM offer a helpline for men, so if like Mark so you are struggling they are there for you. Find out more.

For more stories of support see our celebrate support page.

Need help?

Click on the button below if you need urgent support for yourself or someone you know