A BOLTON security guard has spoken out about how his “head fell to bits” as he struggled with mental health problems throughout lockdown.

And 38-year-old Michael Howells, from Farnworth, is now planning on an epic expedition to raise money for mental health charities.

Michael said: “I have probably suffered with mental health problems for years but I hid it for a very long time.

“When I was stressed I would drink and I put on a lot of weight. I was furloughed in March and I was really struggling - I nearly sectioned myself. There were nights where I couldn’t sleep and my head fell to bits.

“I usually do a lot of DJ work in local pubs and joke around a lot, so when I shared my story online, a lot of people were messaging me to say they would never have imagined I was going through these things.”

However, some months later and after receiving support from friends, family and mental health services, Michael found himself wanting to help support those in similar situations.

He added: “I was lying in bed one night and I just wondered how long it would take for me to walk to Blackpool Tower. And then after putting it on Facebook, it suddenly became a big thing.”

A huge group of around 40 men, women and children is now planning to join Michael for the walk, with a provisional date set for Saturday, June 19.

The group will be walking in different numbers, following the government guidelines, to raise money and awareness for Mind and Whysup.

The walk from Farnworth to Blackpool Tower is approximately 40 miles.

And many of the people joining in have suffered from mental health problems themselves - along with family members of people lost to suicide.

Michael added: “Each of us are doing this walk for our own personal reasons, from suffering with our own mental health to losing a loved one when life for them got too tough to handle.

“It is a walk that is open for everyone. I set up a walking group over lockdown to get people out and talking and doing something.

“I am just trying to give back. I have been through it and I will do again - I want to do my bit and help break the stigma.”

To donate to Michael’s cause, visit Justgiving.com and search for ‘Farnworth to Blackpool Tower’ - and select the fundraiser ran by Michael Howells.