Peter White runs the Crathes Half Marathon                                                        14 September 2013

The UK is not doing well by people with mental illness –
see my justgiving page – I'm signed on for the Crathes Half Marathon so that Naomi and I can do the same run on 14th September 2013, doubtless at different speeds ... on behalf of MHRUK: Mental Health Research UK. We have done careful homework so as to support funding which Liz and I as parents of a son with schizophrenia consider ideal, through a reputable charity with minimal costs including no employed staff.

We did it! Daughter Naomi and I completed the Crathes half-marathon on 14th September. Fired by your encouragement we came 166th (Naomi) and 309th (me) out of 700 runners. Monty the dog, at our feet, helped me train for the first few months till he baulked at the distance!

I was thinking why research into mental illness doesn’t capture the heart. I’d guess all of us have given to cancer research yet for many of us, including me, this is the first time of donating to mental illness research.

Does the illness seem less shattering and research less necessary? Yet out of the total burden of disease in the UK (impact on society, are you employable, paralysing misery, social isolation, need for support) diabetes causes 2%; cancer 16%; mental illness 23%. It reduces our GDP by £52 billion a year and life expectancy by 20 years: the same as smoking, and more than obesity.

But for every £100 spent on cancer research, just £2.60 is spent on research into mental illness. In Scotland only 12 of 37 posts for senior adult psychiatrists have been filled: less than one in three. We are seriously failing the genuinely mentally ill, as I can testify.

Well, MHRUK are funding really great work without taking a salary; it’s remarkable. Thank you SO much, therefore, to all who have given*.

With love from Liz, Naomi and me (Peter)

 * as of last night, from all four sources, this is a stunning £4718.10 with an additional approx £941 claimable through Gift Aid making £5659. Unbelievable.

Many congratulations to Peter and Naomi on completing the half marathon and thank you for the brilliant effort in raising money for MHRUK.