This year marks five years since I was diagnosed with a mental health condition. As Restore's video says, mental health is still seen as a dirty phrase and that there's something wrong with you. When I was diagnosed, I thought I was the only person with my condition, but quickly learned I was not alone.
With support from Restore, I got back into work, trained as a tutor (designing and delivering courses), became a Mental Health First Aider, and have met some of the most wonderful, kind, caring people on the planet. Even to this day, I can walk into Restore feeling wobbly and just needing a safe space and instantly that is provided - no questions asked.
After the year of 2020, the important work that Restore does is needed more than ever. I wanted to push myself this year to improve my fitness. With that came the mad idea to walk the length of the country, Lands End to John O'Groats (LeJog), but with lockdown and life as it is, I'm doing it virtually. 1083 miles.
The challenge is to complete this by Mental Health Awareness Week, which starts 10th May (which is very close to my Birthday so a great present). The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2021 is Nature and the Environment, so this challenge will also force me outdoors and I'm hoping to expand my awareness of nature and share the benefits of it with others too.
As friends and family already know, I love walking, however, I have some knee and foot problems too. Setting the deadline means I have to almost double my daily mileage and at times it will be painful, but I'm determined to do it in the timeframe. I know also that there will likely be days when my mental health will want to have a laugh and I'll struggle on that front, but I'll get there.
One in four of us has a mental health condition and I am hoping to raise £400 which will cover one person's access to Restore for a whole year, so if you think you can spare some change to help me reach this target (which will also spur me on), please do click that button - a positive comment wouldn't go amiss either. Thank you.
More information about Restore: Restore is an Oxfordshire-based mental health charity that supports people to take control of their recovery, develop skills and lead meaningful lives. We offer recovery groups, training and employment coaching to make this possible. We also run a Recovery College offering an educational program of recovery-focused workshops and courses that have been co-produced. We provide recovery and coaching support to people with mental health problems while working with the whole community to reduce Stigma.
- Shelley Owens
- Susan Barnes
- Paul Chipperfield
- Susie Peddle
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