A man who has battled depression is walking the Tay Bridge on Christmas Day to raise money for a mental health charity.
Pupil support assistant Adam Braid will complete the sponsored walk in aid of Back Onside, which delivers programmes and workshops to football teams and individuals to address problems with mental health in the game.
Adam’s personal experience helps him empathise
The 25-year-old from Stobswell has dealt with his own mental health issues since October 2016, following the sudden death of his father Alexander, who suffered a stroke which caused bleeding on the brain.
Just over a year later Adam’s world would once again be shattered when his best friend, Ross Cook, was tragically killed in a railway incident aged just 19.
A year later Adam also got the devastating news that his grandfather, David Morton, had also passed away.
Adam is now a pupil support assistant at St John’s High School in the city and he says that his struggles have helped him empathise with the students he supports.
He said: “Over that three-year period I dealt with a lot of grief and my own mental health suffered greatly.
“I went through a lot of depression but after getting counselling and a lot of support I am now finally feeling much better.
“I decided since I was recovering I wanted to help those who maybe don’t have support around them like I did and I planned the Christmas Day walk over the Tay Road Bridge.
“Although I wasn’t personally supported by Back Onside I know that mental health charities are struggling at the moment to secure funding due to the pandemic and had heard great things about them.
“I have played football all my life and it was whilst at Abertay University I met Ross and we played football together so it seemed really fitting as the charity bases a lot of what they do around the game.
“I also saw Jayson Alexander’s family talking about the charity supporting his football team so wanted to do what I could to help out even if I didn’t know him personally.
He added: “The support I have had from the school has been great too and after starting the role in August 2019 I have loved every minute.
“I find it so rewarding that I can be the support system for the kids who all come from different backgrounds and hopefully help them overcome challenges they face.”
£1,000 fundraising target surpassed in few days
Adam set his target at £1,000 which he surpassed in just a few days bringing his total to £1,200.
He will be taking on the walk on his own as his way of showing solidarity to those who may be facing a Christmas Day on their own too.
He added: “It was great the amount of support I received and I can’t believe how quickly all of the donations came in.
“I wanted to do the walk on Christmas Day to show solidarity with those who are also spending Christmas along and it seemed like a fitting sacrifice to make.
“After passing my target I decided to close the Just Giving page early but if anyone would like to donate to the cause I would definitely urge them to donate to Back Onside directly.”