Welcome to this website about my charity walks of 2,600 miles around England in 2011-12 and 700 miles around the coast of Wales in 2013. Both walks were part of the campaign being run by all mental health charities to reduce the stigma associated with mental ill health and have raised over £15,000 for mental health charities.
The aim of this campaign is to make talking about mental health issues as easy as talking about physical health issues. Talking more openly about mental health is important as it helps to reduce stigma and discrimination which if present, can result in people with mental health problems:
- Becoming isolated from friends, family and colleagues.
- Being reluctant to seek help, making recovery slower and more difficult.
- Feeling excluded from everyday activities.
- Experiencing physical health problems.
- Finding it harder to get or keep a job.
- Discovering that being discriminated against can be worse than the illness itself
The positive reactions and support that I received on these walks have encouraged me to continue to work with mental health charities to raise mental health awareness and try to help people in distress. I currently volunteer with MIND in Cambridgeshire (http://www.mindincambs.org.uk/) to deliver mental health awareness presentations to organisations, corporates and schools.
I haven’t given up on walking though – there is still Scotland and Ireland to go!