Matthew shares why he's running the Bristol Half Marathon to raise awareness of Elefriends, Mind's online peer support community - and how Elefriends can help men speak out about their mental health.
I've enjoyed the sense of safety that comes from anonymity and the moderation provided by the Ele. Most of all I've been struck by the warmth and energy of the responses people give freely and without any expectation of receiving anything in return.
This year I am running the Bristol Half Marathon in aid of Mind with the specific objective of raising awareness of the existence of the Elefriends forum.
"Nobody is immune to the effects of suffering from poor mental health."
I think men my age need to find ways to be more comfortable discussing their mental health and emotional state, and Elefriends is one environment that seems particularly suitable for this task.
In asking for your support, my goal is to stimulate conversation. I want you to mention this to your friends, your family, your colleagues. There is a growing social focus on the fact that the most likely cause of death for males in the UK under the age of 45 is suicide. Please, keep your eyes and ears open. Nobody is immune to the effects of suffering from poor mental health.
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