A graduate who has battled severe mental health problems hopes his academic success can inspire others in his position.
Colin McNicol recently graduated from Perth’s Highlands and Islands University with a degree in mental health peer support.
But just three years ago his life had taken a much darker turn, and the 67-year-old tried to kill himself.
Now, as a member of the Andy’s Man Club group in the Fair City, he is giving support to those who are going through difficult times.
Colin has completed his Professional Development Award in mental health peer support.
Life is good just now for the part-time tree surgeon – but three years ago dark clouds were taking him over.
He was admitted to Murray Royal Hospital after his suicide attempt, stating he was “feeling like an empty vessel”.
However, thanks to the hospital staff and local charities Mindspace and Andy’s Man Club, he pulled through.
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Colin said: “The illness I had was called major depression disorder.
“Apparently I had been suffering from it for some years without knowing.
“Just before my suicide attempt a medic put me on anti-depressants.
“However that took my energy and robbed me of my motivation.
“I lost interest in all things.
“This wasn’t just something that went on for a few weeks – it was a lot longer.”
Now Colin helps others suffering from similar issues at the club and at Smart Recovery meetings.
He added: “Andy’s Man Club gives men a chance to open up in a safe environment and share their feelings. It is a lifesaver.
“I’m thankful to everyone who stood by me and helped me get through the rough times.
“Mental health illness can cripple you, it can kill you. So go and get help.”