Josh says he has been given second chance
Suicide bid spurs young tycoon’s campaign
Josh Quigley, 22, said he tried to take his own life in May this year by deliberately crashing his car into a wall at 80 mph.
He survived without serious injury and now believes he has been given a second chance. He intends to use it to promote awareness of depression and mental health. During 2014, 696 people in Scotland committed suicide.
Josh, who set up digital marketing agency SharkDog in Edinburgh last year, will spend the next six months engaging with organisations, support groups, schools, stakeholders and politicians before embarking on a worldwide journey to raise awareness in Mental Health Issues.
As “The Tartan Explorer”, he will travel to 80 countries in six continents and will undertake his self-proclaimed AWARE challenge.
- Accept or undertake an adrenaline based activity or extreme sport
- Work or volunteer in a mental health charity or association.
- Appear on TV or radio speaking about the challenge and adventure.
- Reveal his story on a stage at a mental health conference, event or seminar.
- Exercise or perform a physical challenge at the country’s most iconic landmark or destination.
The former Napier University student, who was the 2015 winner of the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the year award, has produced a video on social media which has already received 15,000 views.
He said: “Whilst lying in my hospital bed, following my attempt to take my own life, I realised that I had been given a second chance. The Tartan Explorer initiative will give me the chance to destigmatise mental health and demonstrate Scotland’s recognition of these issues.”
Mary Scanlon MSP, who has campaigned in support of mental health issues, said: “I wish Josh every success in his quest to undertake his Tartan Explorer Challenge. To engage with organisations and people who suffer with mental health problems both in Scotland and further afield can only be a good thing. I hope this will encourage people to talk more openly about mental health issues.”
To raise funds, Josh aims to seek sponsorship from Scottish businesses and organisations, and will be launching a crowdfunding campaign for donations in April 2016.
In the meantime, he will engage with communities affected by these issues with speaking engagements and is reaching out for support from the people of Scotland.