Mental Fitness

A truly positive way of overcoming loss and maintaining your own mental health can be through exercise, combine this with fundraising and you’re onto a winner! Two of our fundraisers did just this.

Jo and her friend Natasha started running together after losing a good friend and as a way for Jo to deal with her post-natal depression. 

In 2015 both Natasha and I lost Dave, a dear friend and colleague who sadly decided to take his own life. It was very unexpected and came as a great shock to us as well as his family and friends. He truly was a wonderful person, with great character, so knowledgeable, always reliable and happy to help. 

Our sadness and loss inspired us to raise money, specifically into the valued research that goes on to answer the questions concerning mental health, why certain people are more prone to suffering with depression than others and what we can learn to stop others from suffering the same.

With experience of mental health issues myself, particularly with post-natal depression, I wanted to be able to be part of the answer more than anything. When my daughter was two years old I started running again and found that the exercise, outside space and distraction helped me, and truly believe that it helped to save my life.

Natasha and I had already committed to running the Frome 10k in our home town, as part of our aim to get fit and my continued love of the sport. We initially decided to take part as a way of targeting our personal goals, but then decided to use the event as an opportunity to raise money in memory of Dave, which inspired and
 motivated us even more.

On race day, we were nervous. It was our first running event, it was also further than we’d run before in training and it happened to be on one of the hottest days of the year. We both hoped that Dave was with us and watching, as we pushed ourselves towards the 10k finishing line. To our amazement, we completed the circuit without having to walk which was a great achievement in itself. We completed it in 1 hour 22 minutes, received our medals and felt incredibly proud of ourselves.

Together with the help and support of our family, friends and colleagues we raised £650 for Mental Health Research UK, more than we could have ever imagined We truly hope that our small contribution will help to make a big difference. Dave’s family contacted us shortly after and thanked us for our efforts, which meant a lot to us.

The photograph attached shows me on the left, Natasha on the right, just after we completed the race. It has since motivated me to sign up for the 2017 event, in which I aim to improve my time and continue with my fitness and mental health journey.

Jo


Do you know anyone affected by mental health issues?  Or are you personally affected?

If any of these stories have touched you and you’d like to raise funds for Mental Health Research, take a look at how we can help you fundraise now. 

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