World Mental Health Day: Why I Run

Re-sharing this edited version from last year… 

It was the worst day of my life.

At the pub opposite my friend’s 21st Birthday cricket match, I was told that one of my best friends and housemates had hanged himself in our student house. He had silently suffered with depression for years, and taken his own life.

Vic dying was the worst thing that happened in my life, but it also changed my life. Through the tragedy I started running, found health and discovered a whole new me.

He would have been 30 this year, that’s nearly 10 years without him, and yet there isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think about him. He received two toasts/mentions during our wedding speeches, testament to the effect he’s had on my life.

I’m keen to do something BIG in memory of him, to celebrate both of our 30ths and raise funds for MIND. I’m thinking about an ultra marathon, perhaps a 30 miler… 🙈

World Mental Health Day

Did you know that suicide is the biggest killer in men under 45?

I run in memory of Vic, and to hope that I can prevent this happening to another 20 year old boy with the whole life ahead of him, and a group of friends and family that are still devastated by the loss of such a fun loving, caring guy.

I run to raise awareness of the mental health issues we don’t talk about.

I run to help raise money to stop people suffering with their mental illness in silence.

I run to ease my own stress and anxiety mental health issues.

If we don’t act together to talk about mental health, then by 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disease burden globally. More than cancer, aids, and cholera…

Just think about that for a moment. Then read this – How to Help a Friend with Depression.

world mental health day

According to the Mental Health Foundation, these are the top 10 ways to look after your mental health… 

  1.  Talk about your feelings
  2. Exercise (!!!)
  3.  Eat well
  4. Drink sensibly
  5. Keep in touch with loved ones
  6.  Ask for help
  7. Take a break
  8. Do something you’re good at
  9. Accept who you are
  10. Care for others

Lets remember to step away from the laptop, iPhone, or Playstation. Have real connections. Talk to people. Make someone’s day.  Go for a walk, or run, or ride. Write a letter. Hug your friends, your family.

And remember that what you see on screen isn’t always reality. I’m working really hard to share more real life on Instagram (both stories and normal pics, not all posed photos!) and with a new series I’m thinking of publishing on Facebook… tbc.

Anyway…

It may be World Mental Health day, but let’s think about our own mental health, and that of those people around us everyday. 

world mental health day

 

9 Comments

  1. Lydia Herve
    10th October 2016 / 9:39 pm

    Really great article Charlie!!

    I reckon you should be dressing up as a runner bean, no? xx

    • charlotte
      11th October 2016 / 8:32 am

      YES! Didn’t even think of that. How good at you at making costumes?

  2. Chris
    10th October 2016 / 10:17 pm

    Really insightful post Charlie. In terms of outfits….I’ll have a think 🙂

  3. gasterop0d
    10th October 2016 / 10:55 pm

    I manage to do 2-5 and 7-10, but 1 just seems impossible, and 6 does not seem to be working.

  4. 11th October 2016 / 5:40 pm

    Great post! Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Terri-ann
    6th November 2016 / 9:53 am

    Great post. Got to Be a runner bean outfit

  6. Chiswickmum
    10th October 2017 / 2:39 pm

    Or 30 of your non- running friends each running a mile? Or thirty of your blog readers getting together to run IRL, together? In thirty different cities? Or at thirty different Park Runs? I could go on… Xxx

  7. 11th October 2017 / 8:36 am

    This post is lovely and so personal. It’s been humbling to read everyone’s mental health stories this week.
    Thanks for sharing the top ways to stay healthy, it really can be a struggle to keep up with everything.
    Exercise really does wonders 😀

    Coffee & Avocados

  8. Erin
    11th October 2017 / 11:42 pm

    I’d run for this. I picked up running to beat post partum depression. It saved my life and I keep running because I love it. A dear childhood friend took his own life a few months ago. It rocked me to the core.

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