Zoe Short's, London 2 Brighton Challenge                                                                    24 - 25 May 2014

It was a friend of mine who suggested I keep her company on the 100k walk from London to Brighton I'm taking part in next month. I asked her what charity she was raising funds for and she said 
Mental Health Research UK. It's not one of the most popular charities to raise funds for, most going for Cancer or children's hospitals. But when I thought about it I realised that's one of the reasons I should choose it too.

Mental illness is almost a dirty word, something spoken about in hushed tones and swept under the conversational carpet. Yet it's something so prevalent in modern day society that there are not many people who haven't been touched by it in some way.

It's also pretty indiscriminate, it can affect anyone from all walks of life, and if not treated it can be just as destructive as any physical illness.

My experience came when my then partner became depressed and eventually had a severe psychotic break. It was only when this happened that my friends started to tell me of their personal experiences ranging from close family members to spouses and themselves personally. Before then I had no idea how many people are affected by mental illness, and it's only when we are directly affected that we realise how much we rely on the support and research of charities like 
Mental Health Research UK.

I also felt this charity to be very fitting in terms of the challenge I'm undertaking.

I'm pretty fit and I train most days of the week, but walking 100k in a 24 hour period? Now that is going to be more of a mental challenge, a battle of determination to get to the end without giving up. Knowing that I'll be raising money for 
Mental Health Research UK with each leg aching, blister inducing step, will give me the mental strength to get to the end - that and the thought of a nice hot bath and hopefully a foot rub too! Any volunteers???