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The charity now wants to see the unprecedented attention translate into meaningful change for the one in four people living with mental health problems.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“Yesterday’s London Marathon, and the Heads Together campaign, marked a pivotal moment for mental health. In fact, the whole of last week brought unprecedented attention to mental health, but there’s still so much more to do. Mental health has for too long been overlooked, underfunded and in the shadows. Quite simply, people with mental health problems cannot be ignored any longer.
“The responsibility for making change happen falls to all of us; Government, charities, businesses, families, friends, and communities. It was fantastic to watch thousands of people running in the London marathon yesterday who took the first steps towards making this possible. We’re so grateful at Mind to all of our runners who completed the ‘mental health marathon’ and for the hours and weeks they put into preparing for such a gruelling challenge. We simply couldn’t do what we do without their support.
“Charities and campaigns such as Time to Change have long been calling for action on stigma and improved services. The baton now needs to be passed to decision makers; mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing the next Government. It is unacceptable that mental health support is not always available when people reach out in crisis, that there are sometimes no beds available for hundreds of miles and that some people wait months for a counselling appointment. As more people join the ranks of those willing to speak out about mental health, the demand for change will be unstoppable. This must not be overlooked by political parties in the run up to the general election and we urge them to make mental health a priority in their manifestos.”
Mind alone had around 1,000 runners in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon – their biggest ever team. It is hoped that the runners, many of whose lives have been touched by mental health problems, will raise over £1.2 million for Mind’s work to ensure that the one in four people who experience a mental health problem every year gets the support and respect they deserve.
Funds will go towards Mind’s Infoline, legal line and advice services which supports over 60,000 enquiries each year. Additionally Mind provides award-winning online advice and guides on all aspects of mental health that supports over 16 million people each year as well as pioneering new forms of online support, including the student mood boosting app ‘Emoodji’ and an online peer support community Elefriends which currently supports around 50,000 people. The money will also support local Minds who provide tailored mental health support in communities across England and Wales, helping around 390,000 a year. Services include counselling, peer support, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, supported housing and crisis helplines.