Hi I’m Emily, I’m 25 and I will be running the Bristol Half Marathon in September 2018 for the Bristol based mental health and wellbeing festival Freedom of Mind.
I have taken on this challenge as I want to raise awareness and encourage conversation around our mental health, as well as raising much needed funding for an incredible project that does so much good in our community. One of the most powerful things that captured me when I began working with Freedom of Mind, was recognising that ‘we all have a mental health.’ In the UK one in four of us struggle with our mental health at some point during our lifetimes and I’m working with Freedom of Mind to encourage discussion and bring mental health out of the dark.
Tragically he took his own life, leaving behind a devastated family who loved him unconditionally. One of my last conversations with him was around my new found love of running. Andy was such an outdoorsy man and loved nothing more than a bike ride, a run or a kick about in the park and so I will run 13.1 miles in his memory in the hope of making the topic of mental health and wellbeing a day-to-day conversation for us all.
Even though there has been lots of positive change towards removing the stigma attached to mental health, it still exists. Freedom of Mind are doing some amazing work in our community to bring about this change, and every year they host a festival across Bristol encouraging people to talk more and learn about wellbeing. However, they need support to continue.
I started training on 3rd of February with a 10k run – my first run since losing Andy in August 2017! This run went well but I’m under no illusions of how tough my training journey is going to be over the coming months as I look to extend my distance.
So please get sharing and donate what you can so I can keep motivated and my training plan on track, and I promise I’ll keep you posted on my progress throughout!
Together we can encourage conversations, educate each other and make a change to how mental health is perceived and supported in our community.
Freedom of Mind would like to thank Emily and her family for the support they are giving us through this. Every penny raised really makes a huge difference and helps us to run Freedom of Mind even better.