Luca's driving 10,000 miles from England to Mongolia to raise money for better mental health.
There have been few times that I have looked forward to welcoming in a new year as much as I did with 2017! Not only am I happy to be leaving behind a year which seemed hell bent on taking all my childhood heroes, but the New Year marked the official countdown to the biggest challenge of my life.
In July, myself and three work colleagues will be setting off from our employer Avtrade’s Headquarters in England and driving 10,000 miles to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. The journey itself will be an arduous trip. Over four weeks we will pass through two continents, 13 countries, across desert, open plains, through forests and cities, finally arriving at our destination tired and probably broken. We’ll be facing issues every day and with no support crew, once we leave the UK we’ll be on our own. Tough border crossings, vehicle failures, communication breakdowns will all need to be sorted there and then.
"While I am completely terrified of what’s to come, I know I have the support of an amazing crew and a family who are behind me 100 per cent."
For me the turn of the New Year meant the trip suddenly became real, it meant I had something to work towards and something to look forward to in 2017. While I am completely terrified of what’s to come, I know I have the support of an amazing crew and a family who are behind me 100 per cent. There are however, many out there living with mental health problems who may be dreading what this year has in store. And while I feel the support of those around me, I know that lots of people don’t have this support.
Depression and anxiety can hit hard around this time of the year and with the selection of Mind as one of our charities, we hope that we can show our support to anyone who’s going through a hard time. The work Mind does on a day to day basis is crucial in changing the stigma that still surrounds mental health today.
We couldn’t have made this trip a reality without the support of our employer, Avtrade, who have agreed to be the main sponsors of the trip and also our family and friends who have to deal with the natural concerns of sending us off into the unknown for a month! Now we have six months to raise as much money as possible for our selected charities. While for the crew, the project started a few months back, I’m looking forward to putting our fundraising campaign into high gear and making a real difference to mental health.
To see what you could do to raise money for better mental health check out this page of our website.
When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information - about a condition, treatment options, or practical issues - is vital. Visit our information pages to find out more.
Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.