Patrick Christys: 'Whoever you are, whatever you’re going through – be like Tyson Fury, stay in the fight'

On mental health 'if you’re down and out, look no further than Tyson Fury'

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It’s Monday morning and it’s normal to feel a bit blue, a bit down in the dumps, a bit overwhelmed by the week ahead. But I wanted to start the week with a bit of positivity and let's look no further than the titan Tyson Fury.

This mountain of a man has gone from trying to kill himself by driving his car off a bridge, masking his crippling depression with drink and drugs, alienating his family, self-destructing on a daily basis…to reclaiming his position as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers that the world has ever seen.

He’s gone from a metaphorical noose around his neck, to world championship belts around his waist. He picked himself up off the canvas twice and shot down the Bronze Bomber for the third time – yes the third time, because he actually won the first fight and was robbed.

So it’s 3-0 to the Gypsy King. But there’s a bigger point here, an important point – yesterday was world mental health day. So many people out there right now, so many people watching this, will be struggling with their mental health.

And I want you to know, that’s ok. You’re ok. You are loved. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45. Every single day in the UK, on average, 12 men take their own lives.

If Chris Whitty did a daily press conference in front of his little slideshows exclusively talking about mental health, then we’d realise that there really is a pandemic out there.

200,000 people have been referred to mental health services in the last three months alone, near double pre-pandemic levels. Urgent referrals are up from 5,200 to 8,500. The world can be a really bleak place.

The pressure and stress of daily life can sometimes feel like too much, and it can all get on top of us. Sometimes it can be hard to see a way out and, yes, sometimes, taking drastic action can seem like the only option. I know, because I’ve been there.

But as long as you stay in the fight, you’ve always got a puncher’s chance. As long as you stay in the game, there’s always a chance you might win. As long as you keep buying a ticket, you might just win the lottery. If you’re down and out, look no further than Tyson Fury.

He’s arguably the best living example of what you can achieve if you keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep plodding along – he’s a true hero. He’s a giant amongst men in more ways than one.

What a story, what an inspiration. This guy went from drinking every pub dry, doing more cocaine than Tony Soprano, pushing his wife and children away, getting so out of shape, he climbed Everest when he beat Klitschko and then fell all the way down the other side of it.

One day, he got in his Ferrari and started driving at 190mph, towards a bridge. He wanted to drive off that bridge and into the eternal darkness. But something stopped him. And look at him now – three times he’s got in the ring with the biggest puncher in the world.

Three times he’s taken everything that’s been thrown at him. He’s been knocked down, he’s been pummeled, he’s been badly hurt, he’s been written off. And he keeps coming back. He keeps picking himself up. He keeps going, and he keeps winning.

If you’re reading this now and you’re struggling, I want you to know that it’s ok to not be ok. It’s fine to not be fine. Actually, that’s quite normal.

Not enough men talk about how they’re feeling, we tend to bottle things up and push things down. We have to be strong, we have to be brave, we have to be stoic. But above all, I’d rather that you just stayed alive.

There are some numbers I’ve mentioned here – 12 men a day take their own lives. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45. 200,000 people referred to mental health services in the last three months…but there’s another number.

That number is 116 123. That’s the number for the Samaritans. Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you’re going through – be like Tyson Fury…stay in the fight.