Record breaking 200K to be raised for mental health by 160 marathon runners
Posted Tuesday 21 April 2009
Running for peace of Mind
More runners than ever are running the Flora London Marathon on 26 April for leading mental health charity Mind. The charity hopes to raise a record breaking 200K to help it continue its vital work supporting people with mental health problems. In this time of recession, with distress and anxiety on the increase, it’s never been more important for people to get support and advice from Mind.
Many of the 160 people running have personal stories of mental distress, and are running to raise awareness of mental health and to benefit their own mental wellbeing. Exercise is proven to improve mental health with a recent study by Mind showing that after just one country walk, 71% of people reported a decrease in depression and 90% had increased self-esteem.
One runner, Andy Wray, experiences dissociative amnesia, a condition that prevents him recalling memories after 48 hours. Andy keeps photos of the people that he runs with so that he can recognise them and they aid him on the streets to ensure he does not lose his way. He runs regularly to help manage his condition and to boost his mood.
“My condition brings with it a number of different feelings, frustration is the biggest one. It can also lead to anxiety attacks. Running brings out the "old Andy Wray" and it's like I can go out for a run and feel free from all the pressures and stresses.”
Tom Nicholson is running the London Marathon as part of an incredible 100 miles this year in memory of his girlfriend who took her own life. He is three quarters of the way to his target of raising £4,000 to help aid Mind’s work.
“My girlfriend Hetta was bipolar, she died last June. Het was an incredibly special person, so vivacious and kind - she lit up the lives of her friends and family. She loved running, and wanted to raise money for Mind, but never quite got the chance - these races are just to say thank you for all that she gave to me.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said “The current economic climate is placing additional pressures on the mental health services we provide. The vital money raised from our fantastic runners could help to fund our MindinfoLine, ensuring more people get the advice and support they need, when they need it. We would like to thank every one of our fantastic runners for their dedication, and wish them the best of luck for the race.”
You don’t have to be a marathon runner to feel the benefits of exercise on your mental wellbeing. Mind is keen to get people to do a bit more exercise all year round as part of its Get Moving campaign. People are being asked to pledge to increase their energy levels and are invited to have fun taking part in a week of mass participation events taking place all over the country on 3 to 11 October, bringing people both with and without mental health problems together.
Launched by Mind and Rethink, Get Moving is part of their wider anti-stigma campaign Time to Change. Time to Change seeks to end the stigma of mental distress and challenge discrimination against those who experience it. It is funded with £16m from the Big Lottery Fund and £2m from Comic Relief.
If you would like to find out how you can get involved in an event for Mind, please go to www.mind.org.uk/events or call 0871 872 1144. Or pledge to increase your own activity levels and support the Get Moving programme at www.getmovingweek.org.uk.