When I realised that my planned hike across Hadrian's Wall coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September), I wanted to dedicate my walk to raising awareness of mental health, suicide in particular – a cause close to my heart.

Suicide is not just a statistic – it affects real people, friends and family. When contemplating my upcoming walk, my thoughts turned to my own personal experience with suicide. My extended uncle Marian, took his own life in 2012 and a dear colleague of mine, whose son sadly took his own life shortly after his 18th birthday. Earlier this year, during my first trip to the US, TV screens were constantly blaring, showing shocking statistics of the US suicide rate, which has increased by 30% since 2000 – what happened to the American Dream?