There is a lot in the media at the moment about supporting those people struggling with their mental wellbeing, and I’ve done a lot of runs last year in aid of mental health charities, so I’m really excited to be supporting #runandtalk again this year.

England Athletics is behind this movement to improve mental wellbeing through running and to break down the stigma associated with mental health by getting people talking about it. I’ll be hosting a #runandtalk event on 31st January in Wigan, which is free of charge for people to attend, and is an opportunity to have a chat and meet some local people.

The event follows on from the successful #runandtalk events in October 2017 in support of World Mental Health Day which saw around 100 organised runs to support mental wellbeing through running.

I myself run to stay happy, to reduce my anxiety, to quiet my brain which likes to worry a lot. Running is a great way to keep healthy in body AND mind so it’s great that England Athletics is behind this to support people who need help.

During the week of 27th January– 2nd February 2018 we’re encouraging people to run as little or as far as they want, and to have a chat with friends, family, colleagues or other runners. This can be done at a time and location of their choice or by joining one of the organised runs at an England Athletics club or RunTogether group.

The event is supported by a network of over 420 volunteer England Athletics Mental Health Ambassadors who are active in affiliated running clubs and registered running groups across England to support those of us who are experiencing mental health problems. The support available includes helping people to start running, get back into running, or continue running as well as to improve the mental wellbeing of their existing members.

The #runandtalk campaign aims to improve mental health through running in England by:

  • getting people talking about mental health, sharing their experiences and removing stigma
  • raising awareness of mental health problems
  • supporting people experiencing mental health problems to be physically active through running, whether that is to support them in starting, returning to or continuing to run

We’re often told that physical activity is good for our bodies and our minds, but having a mental health problem can make it difficult to get started, for a number of reasons, ranging from negative body image, or a lack of self-esteem through to practical reasons such as having no one to go with, or not knowing where to get started.

I have organised a run on Wednesday 31st January at 11am from Haigh Woodland Park. The run will be up to 5 miles and will include options for walking, jogging and running so everyone is welcome whether you are new to running, looking to get back into it or a regular runner. There will be chance to have a cuppa afterwards too. Here’s the link to my run: https://www.meetup.com/runandtalk/events/246865427/

For more information you can contact me on michellemortimer@me.com

Join the conversation on social media using #runandtalk.

Search for and join a #runandtalk organised run at- www.meetup.com/runandtalk/events/

Or sign up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/151769515549674/

 

Some more information and links:

Time to Talk Day is on Thursday 1st February and is a day that brings the nation together to get talking and break the silence around mental health problems. Find out more here: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day-2018/

England Athletics

England Athletics develops grass roots athletics and running in England, supporting affiliated clubs to prosper, developing more and better coaches, recruiting and supporting volunteers and officials. England Athletics provides and supports competition opportunities at an international (England representative), national, area and county level. England Athletics also delivers campaigns and products to inspire and provide opportunities for people in England to start running. These include This Girl Can Run (a running activation campaign from Sport England’s parent This Girl Can campaign) and RunTogether, a national recreational group-based running product.

England Athletics is a signatory of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation. The Charter sets out how sport can use its collective power to tackle the stigma that surrounds mental health and help people seek support when needed, see more at www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/mental-health-charter.

For more information on England Athletics please visit www.englandathletics.org

Mind

We’re Mind, the mental health charity for England and Wales. We believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We have a federated network of around 134 local Minds across England and Wales. Our Get Set to Go programme aimed to improve the lives of 75,000 people with mental health problems through access to sport in their communities, with support from Sport England and the National Lottery.

We work to remove the barriers that people living with mental health problems can face when wanting to take up a sport. We aim to increase and sustain their independent participation in mainstream sports as part of a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on Mind’s sport and physical activity work please visit www.mind.org.uk/sport

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