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Nigel Owens reveals he nearly took his own life when he was in his 20s

The openly gay rugby referee wrote a suicide letter to his parents when he was 26

2018-09-03

Nigel Owens has opened up about nearly taking his own during his 20s.

The openly gay rugby referee has joined the anti-bullying campaign, #Back2School, to bring awareness to bullying in schools alongside a number of other celebrities following new statistics released by The Diana Award which reveal the impact of bullying.

And Owens opened up about being bullied at school and dealing with his sexuality and how it got too much that he wrote a suicide note to his parents when he was just 26.

He said: “It felt at times that if I sort of ended my own life, that was the only way to get away from the pain of bullying or on other occasions it was a case of being so scared what the bully would do to you that he would do something so bad to you that that could end your life.

“There is no doubt that experiencing that difficult time at school, being bullied, and then experiencing that difficult time in dealing with my sexuality and dealing with mental health issues and the depression and stuff that came with that time when I did something that I will regret for the rest of my life.

“I was 26 years of age where I left a note for my mum and dad and said I couldn’t carry on living anymore and I attempted to take my own life.

“And If I hadn’t been found by people looking for me then 20 minutes and it would have been too late, and I wouldn’t be here speaking today and that is something I have to live with for the rest of my life.

“It’s something I will regret for the rest of my life and looking back now with life experiences I should have learnt from that first experience of bullying that you have to accept that there are issues and to seek help to deal with them.”

Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award, added: “Young people spend 11,000 hours of their lives in full education. School should be safe and free from bullying. 

"We’re urging everyone to get behind our campaign by helping us to train Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in every schools.

"We know this peer to peer approach works and these young ambassadors are already changing behaviours and shaping attitudes by sending a clear message that bullying isn’t acceptable. Our vision with the help of the public/nation is to reach every single one of the 27,000 schools across the UK."

Watch Owens' interview below:

To support text ANTI18 to 70070 followed by £5 and to find out more go to back2school.antibullyingpro.com