Mental Health

A Veteran's 100km Walk To Help Save Lives

Army veteran David Mossop has completed a gruelling challenge to raise awareness about veterans' suicides.

A former soldier has marched 100km to highlight the tragedy of conflict zone veterans taking their own lives.

David Mossop, formerly a member of the Scots Guards, aims to raise £10,000 for Help for Heroes to both draw attention to the issue and help prevent it.

"Since I left the Army in 2013, I have now actually lost more friends through suicide than I did in the tours... of Iraq, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan," the veteran told Forces News.

He said he receives news of friends taking their own lives "every two months".

"That's something that we're not talking enough about," he said.  

Mr Mossop spent 20 years in the Army, serving in some of the world's most dangerous trouble zones.

He now works in cybersecurity, but the suicides of fellow veterans haunt him.

He said: "When you're in the Army you have an identity, you have a rank, you have a number, you have a function, you have a reason to be there.

"When you leave the Army, as so many of my friends have done, they just… they lose their way."

British Army veteran David Mosslop in Germany during 100km walking challenge to reise funds for help for heroes 180521 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
David Mossop aims to raise £10,000 for Help for Heroes.

Speaking about his 100km challenge, he said he is "trying to look after" his friends in the Army.

"Even though I'm not in the Army anymore, I still want to help."

Mr Mossop experienced his own mental health issues during the coronavirus pandemic.

When the COVID-19 travel restrictions meant he could not get to the UK from his home in Germany, he was unable to attend his father's cremation.

Completing the march to raise £10,000 for Help for Heroes also fulfilled his father's dying wish.

"My father was a military man, I'm a military man, my entire family, at one point, have been military personnel.

"Help for Heroes is a charity that I have seen first-hand, the great things that they do."

He added: "I've got a lot of friends who are missing limbs, I’ve got a lot of friends who are missing residual parts of the face, eyesight and hearing, and Help for Heroes were there again."

If you have been affected by the issues discussed in this story, or need to talk to someone, Samaritans has a phone line service open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - their number is: 116 123.