Pirate FM News 4 minute read

Cornish BMX Champion turns life around after suicide attempt

Cornish BMX Champion turns life around after suicide attempt

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 1:07pm 20th May 2020. (Updated at 7:32am 21st May 2020)

A former BMX cyclist from Cornwall, has opened up about depression that was so severe he almost took his own life.

The dad, who is twenty five years old, and hopes to marry this year, went from representing Great Britain and being a multiple Cornish and South West BMX Champion, to taking "a mixture of medication tablets and alcohol in the hope of ending all of the pain."


The downwards spiral began in 2012.

Then 17 years old, Ben Clarkson was at a "national event in Birmingham where I had an accident mid race resulting in a wrist injury - requiring surgery, plates and screws."

Ben Clarkson goes on to tell Pirate FM "after being told that my injury would take several months/to a year to heal, and that I still may not have the movement in my wrist to get back to racing - I was devastated."

"Understandably I was released from the Olympic team and some other sponsors.. unfortunately at the age of 17 I did not have the mental know how to deal with this kind of trauma. Fast forward 18 months and I had began to drift away from my family and friends without really knowing it..I began working for Absolute Flooring SW Ltd on an apprenticeship and was shortly after introduced to my now fiance Madii. Madii soon realised that there was something not quite right with how my moods would fluctuate, and this was yet again proven when on a particularly low day I took a mixture of medication tablets and alcohol in the hope of ending all of the pain."

              Ben Clarkson, survivor and sportsman 

The one time Olympic hopeful is relieved that his attempt to take his own life failed.

"Thankfully this (suicide attempt) didn't work and I was able to look into getting the help I needed."

"I ballooned in weight after being diagnosed with depression - gaining up to 18 and a half stone but at least I was on the road to recovery."


"Fast forward 8 months or so - and I am now in a much better place."

"I have lost a lot of the excess weight and am feeling great, I am now heading back to racing to finish what I started, have fun on the bike with the full support of my family and friends."

Ben's big thank you to the Outlook Southwest mental health support service 

"I can't thank Outlook Southwest enough for their help with treatment, it is a phenomenal service and its FREE! I also want to thank my fiance Madii for standing  by me in what must have been a difficult situation. As well as having to deal with my mental health problems she had to endure 2 miscarriages as well. (Thankfully we now have a beautiful little baby girl who is happy and healthy!)

             Ben Clarkson, survivor and sportsman 

Want to find out more about the services offered by Outlook Southwest?

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