by Susan Mann (Joint-Vice Chair)
This is an exciting initiative by EA with the charity MIND under the heading Run to Talk. Their aim is to have a mental health champion in every affiliated running club. MH champions need to have experienced mental health issues at work, personally or as a relative; be open and non judgmental.
They are appointed to promote the benefits of running on mental wellbeing; provide crisis information eg on website; be a link with the community and mental health organisations; support members to improve mental wellbeing through running; put on events to promote mental wellbeing within the club.
OUR ROLE IS NOT TO ADVISE ON MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES but to signpost.
Hastings Runners is lucky to have 4 Mental Health Champion volunteers –
‘We regularly organise Walk/Talk/Run events which are an excellent opportunity for runners and walkers of all abilities to get together and enjoy a tea or coffee after a bit of exercise.
Here are some comments from previous events which we have hosted.
‘I enjoyed a relaxing and stress reducing walk in the park with a lovely group of supportive friends’
‘The afterglow lasted the rest of the day, I look forward to the next one’
‘I felt that I really needed this. Good company (along with) the sights, smells and sounds in the park lifted my spirits’.
We are always looking at other ways to support club members and welcome any ideas you may have.
Look out for future updates and events on Facebook and Google Groups.
If anyone would like to join the small but active Mental Health Champions group, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to have a chat, (no pressure 😊).