John and Susan Wilkes, long term supporters of MQ Mental Health Research, remember their son Nick Wilkes who died by suicide ten years ago in 2014. John and Susan’s support helps fund vital research to prevent others losing their lives to suicide in the future. Here they recall Nick with fondness and explain why supporting MQ is so important to them. 


Exactly ten years ago, in January 2014, we lost our beloved son Nick, who had been ill for much of the preceding year. Aged just 28, Nick probably suffered from bipolar depression, but time ran out before he could receive a clear medical diagnosis.  

Nick was a brilliantly witty, generous, and much-loved friend to many, with a special gift for getting on with people, notably children.  

In his last months, Nick was lured to Ukraine by an internet scam romance, but, once there, he fell in love anyway with the country and its people. Nothing pleased him more than spending the long train journey from Kiev to Warsaw via Lviv with Ukrainians he’d never met before, sharing a picnic laced with vodka.  

We often wonder what he would have made of the present disastrous war in his beloved Ukraine, that same train now full of refugees, and indeed of the many seismic events that have engulfed us and the world in the last decade.  

In the shocking aftermath of losing Nick, we were very aware of our own ignorance of mental illness and disturbed to see how little research was going into the field compared to other sectors of medicine. We were directed to MQ, then in its infancy, and we’ve remained supporters ever since.  

We’re hugely impressed with MQ’ s achievements in the past decade, and we particularly value MQ’s support of early career researchers. 

In our third campaign to support MQ, we’ve raised £2,316 so far. If you would like to join us in remembering our son Nick by supporting our efforts, you can donate here 

Thank you for supporting MQ like we do. 


Our thanks to John and Susan Wilkes for remembering Nick by supporting MQ. If you’d like to give a gift, fundraise or support MQ in any way, you can find out more here. 

Find out more about what MQ are doing to prevent those with mental illness from being Gone Too Soon and find out facts about suicide and what MQ is doing to help. 


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