For a friend.

Hi team! Today I’m going to be bringing you something slightly different. It’s about something I’m doing next month which is really important to me and very close to my heart. I hope you don’t mind the little deviation away from my normal pink capitals and exclamation marks style, it would be amazing if you could take 2 minutes to read this.

In September, I will be doing the Three Peaks challenge – an attempt to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon back-to-back within 24 hours.

I would just like to emphasis how insanely hard this will be for me given that I’m going to be with a group of uni friends who are all a lot fitter and less lazy than me. (The most exercise I get is basically running from the sofa to the kitchen when I realise I forgot to set the timer for the garlic bread in the oven.)

Ive bought some hiking shoes, a rucksack – even one of those water bladders which you suck through a pipe – this is the REAL deal for me. But let’s be honest, the shopping isn’t the hard bit for me is it?

I’ve got 5 weeks to turn this butter-loving cushion that is my body into a PROTEIN MACHINE (which I imagine would look like Optimus Prime or at least the thing that all the Power Rangers morph into.) I’ve started walking to work more often and I’m Squat Challenging my thighs into submission.

Why am I putting my body through this?

We will be doing this in honour of our great friend Phil who tragically took his own life last September having fought a hidden battle against depression and anorexia for years. Phil was kind, good natured – there’s always that one genuine ‘good guy’ in any friendship group – and that was Phil for us. He was a real treasure and features in pretty much all of our best “remember when” stories. 

Some, including myself, may question how we didn’t notice the warning signs – good friends should have noticed something was wrong right? Good friends should have been there to support him? In truth, as with a lot of mental health illness, there were no such signs. Phil went on a group holiday to Bruges the weekend before and all the photos show a happy guy, having a great time, surrounded by friends. The reality is that mental health issues like depression are never textbook. Each disease is specific to the individual and there are no foolproof ways of spotting and healing such a thing.

Phil knew he had great friends who would do anything for him. He sincerely thanked his friends and family the day that he went missing. My one regret is that he passed away thinking that we were unable to help and that there was no other way.

My reason for doing Three Peaks is in the hope that doing something like this will raise awareness. Not only to the public – that mental health issues can affect anyone without noticeable evidence, but also to any individuals out there suffering from mental health issues – there is always another way.

So we’re raising money for Mind, the mental health charity, in a bid to prevent a heartbreaking event like this happening to anyone else. Mind is there to make sure that anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support. 

No one should have to go through the pain of losing a loved one in such a way. More importantly, no one should feel so helpless that they are driven to take their own life – help and support is out there and available.

If you would like to support us, we gratefully accept any donations at our JustGiving page here. Even 5 pounds will help us to reach our target, we really appreciate anything you can spare.

Thank you for reading.



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Zoe Bayliss Wong
Zoe Bayliss Wong

Zoe is a Forbes ’30 under 30′ finance pro, style writer, presenter and panellist, working for a fashion startup and trying to live that best life in the most IRL way possible.

Find me on: Twitter


  1. Becky Smith
    August 10, 2013 / 9:14 pm

    I'm so sorry to hear that you lost a friend Zoe, to lose a friend in any way is awful but when they have taken their own life I can't imagine what that feels like. There's no way you could have known how badly he was suffering because no matter how bad a person feels they can hide it to other people. I suffered with depression in my early 20's and although my parent's noticed that I wasn't very happy around that time they had no idea exactly how bad I felt because I hid it from them. Unfortunately I can't afford much at the moment but I will head over and make a donation 🙂 xx

    • Zoe Dubs
      August 10, 2013 / 10:00 pm

      Thank you so much B – any size donation is really appreciated by myself and also the charity! Every little helps! x

  2. maliberry
    August 10, 2013 / 9:17 pm

    What a wonderful thing you're doing. As someone who has suffered from mental health problems personally, it's always so good to see people trying to raise awareness. Made a small donation – sorry it's not much x x x

    • Zoe Dubs
      August 10, 2013 / 10:06 pm

      Mali – thank you thank you – even if everyone who reads this donates a pound, it will still make a big difference in the end! x

  3. Sarah @ Midnight Rambler
    August 10, 2013 / 11:01 pm

    I'm so so sorry to hear about your friend. Suicide is tragic in a way that I think it is hard for anyone to really even comprehend. But I think that you and your friends are reacting to this tragedy in the best way possible. I really think that raising awareness and help for mental health is one of the most important things. How long will you be raising money? I don't have much at the moment but I definitely want to make sure to make some kind of donation to this project.

    • Zoe Dubs
      August 11, 2013 / 6:33 pm

      Awh thank you Sarah – we are doing the Challenge on 14th September so will be raising money all the way til then, and our page will still be active for a while after then too!xx

  4. Anonymous
    August 11, 2013 / 9:23 am

    Hi Zoe, I'm really touched by your blog and your effort to raise awareness about depression in memory of close friend as someone who has been through depression myself. I wish you every luck in the three peaks challenge. Keep up with the squatting!

    • Zoe Dubs
      August 11, 2013 / 6:36 pm

      Thank you for your kind words – it means a lot to have support from people who have suffered from depression before. xx