In April 2020, I will be under taking the task of running my very first marathon. (Someone help me)
I am not sure why I have done this to myself, but it seems like a good thing to do. Especially as I am running for a charity.
I have chosen to run for a mental health charity because mental health and mental illness are things very close to my heart.
I was first introduced to the concept of mental illness when I was a small child and my mother suffered postnatal depression. It pretty much cost her life and wellbeing in the years to come. Because of her illness, she lost my older brother to the care system. She was only 18 at the time, and what a scary prospect that was.
From there, it set her off into a lifelong battle with mental illness. She became anxious to go outside, and this eventually developed into agoraphobia. If you don’t know what that is, basically a fear of large open spaces, for my mum, this meant she was afraid to leave the house.
Back in the late 70s and early 80s, mental illness wasn’t really recognised, and postnatal depression? Nothing more than a mother feeling sad. These two events eventually led my mother into deep depression, which she never recovered from.
But it isn’t just her mental health that suffered, as a result, the children she did have at home lost part of their childhood’s. Mental illness is devastating to all it touches, not just the person suffering it, but the family and children it affects as a consequence.
I have my own stepdaughter who suffers from depression. It is so terrible to watch someone go through and know there is not really anything you can do to help them.
Mental illness does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are black, white, rich, poor, gay., straight. It doesn’t car if you own a big house or a fancy car. It can strike anyone at any time it pleases, and so many times with devastating consequences.
How many people could we save if mental illness had an intervention before it got out of hand? How many lives could be helped if there was proper facilities and awareness for them?
Do you know that 105 of school children are diagnosed with mental illness every year?
16 million people in the UK alone have a mental illness at some point in their lives. In the USA, that number is over 44 million. That’s a lot of people.
To date, suicide is the biggest killer of young people.
And perhaps the most devastating statistic?
51% of people with mental illness are afraid to speak out because of shame and embarrassment.
The mental health charity I am running for is a non-profit charity, who rely solely on donations to keep going. They have been working for over 70 years to bring good mental health to all, with prevention and interception at the heart of it all.
They seek to give people better access to treatment, to help notice mental illness in the early stages, to fund research as to why mental illness occurs and how we can help it.
Just think how many lives could be saved or improved with early intervention and the correct support systems.
We all know someone with a mental illness. I am running for them.
Please help me by donating. 100% of donations is going to the mental health charity.
Even if you can only donate £1 or $1, it all helps.