Guernsey runners will be hitting the road this Monday bank holiday for Guernsey Mind’s first 10km fund-raising run.
Sponsored by local actuarial firm, BWCI, and the Guernsey Athletics Club the fun run is the start of a public awareness campaign on mental health.
Guernsey Mind chairman, John Curran, said the partnership between charity, business and sports club, created to launch the run, was a fantastic example of how local organisations could work together to show their support for positive mental health.
“We wanted to show that everyday activities can be the cornerstone of emotional resilience and the link between sport and mental health and we thought the run was a perfect way to do that,” he said.
Mike Marshall, from rugby charity Only Fools and Donkeys, typifies the positive benefits of exercise.
Mike has been involved in sport throughout his life and knows personally the link to good mental health.
“Initially thinking that sport helped me through life’s little crises had not crossed my mind but I soon realised that throughout my life sport has been, and still is, a major part of my life.
“Arriving in Guernsey, about 24 years ago, trying to get away from my impending divorce and the mental strain it had become, I immediately again found solace in joining the Guernsey Rugby club. I have always admitted that it was the best thing I had done and it helped me deal with the stresses in my life.
“Today we are bombarded with the pressures of life’s expectations from an early age and, when things get on top of us, there sometimes seems to be no way out. We struggle on as if nothing has happened and it can become a downward spiral.
“To me, Guernsey Mind holding its first 10km run is an outlet for some to embrace and “get away” from those trials and tribulations. Taking up something that is a challenge can help take your mind off your woes and meet new people who are taking up the same new challenge.”
”It doesn’t matter whether you are fit or not or, indeed, which activity you choose – exercise of any kind can help to improve wellbeing.
Paul Ingrouille, GIAAC Event Organiser, ex-island runner and now coach, said running was an easy sport to get involved with locally.
“One of the great things about running is it is so accessible – for many people the simple freedom of a solo run at the end of the day provides a tonic,” he said.
Mr Curran said: “Guernsey Mind aims to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues and get the Guernsey community behind events that raise much needed funds and increase awareness of the impact of poor mental health on individuals, families and workplaces.”
“In reality, any activity can be good for your mental health. The most important thing is that it is enjoyable and that it gives you a sense of control over your life. The Guernsey Mind BWCI fun run is an opportunity to take part in something fun and highlights the community’s support for positive mental health.”
The public awareness campaign, centred on social media with the hashtag #isupportgsymind, will launch on 1 September. The aim of #isupportgsymind is to give Guernsey people an opportunity to take a positive stance towards mental health.
Throughout September and October Guernsey Mind wants people to download a sign with this hashtag from the website, www.guernseymind.org.gg , take a picture of themselves holding the sign and send it to Guernsey Mind to create a gigantic Guernsey collage of support for people with mental health issues.