This blog has always been about physical health but there is something as equally important to me that I want to talk about; mental health. Mental well being and physical health go hand in hand for me, they are not mutually exclusive, they must co-exist in harmony in order for me to be happy. I have suffered by own mental health problems and this is not something I am ashamed of, it is simply a part of who I am. It took a long time for me to realise that there is no shame in admitting to having a mental health problem. This is how embedded the shame of mental health is in the psyche of many young people in Ireland today and I want that to change. I was never taught growing up what anxiety or depression was and unfortunately and potentially more devastatingly, I was never made aware of the facilities available to handle these emotions. This is why I have chosen to run the Hell and Back Titan race for the charity SOSAD (Save Our Sons and Daughters). I'm going to try to raise €500. Here is my charity page that is now live on mycharity.ie:
SOSAD is a charity that have taken on the very difficult task of raising awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and more specifically, suicide, in Ireland. Check out their website here. They provide support and direction to those feeling depressed and/or suicidal. They also offer support and direction for those who may know someone who is suicidal and for those who have been bereaved by suicide. The services they offer are completely free and they receive no public grants or funding. Therefore, they rely on the generosity and goodwill of people in order to provide this vital service. This charity would simply not exist without the help of selfless volunteers and generous contributions from donors. Your money will go straight into the bank account of SOSAD if you donate online, it's a very simple process and it will be put straight to work offering people the phone support, face to face counselling and advice they so desperately need. I am asking you sincerely and humbly, to please try and donate anything that you can to this charity. You never know when your darkest hour will arrive and your donation will ensure that the help and support is there for others when theirs does. I am asking, begging, pleading, that everyone reading this donate just €1 or whatever you can to SOSAD. If you can donate, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I have seen first hand the consequences that have resulted from the misunderstanding and the stigma attached to mental health and I am passionate about not letting this unnecessary shame permeate this generation or any other generation to come. The fact is that there is still a deeply ingrained stigma surrounding mental health in Ireland and the act of seeking help is still seen as a personal failure. This has to change. As clichéd as it sounds, it changes with me and you. SOSAD has undertaken the challenge of rewiring the old ways we think about mental health and you can help them break this taboo that is a scorn upon our country, a clandestine disease that is killing our friends and family. I won't be constantly asking people to donate, that's not what I'm about, if you can and want to help, please do, but otherwise it'll be fitness based posts surrounding the race from now on. All I want to do is harness the support and positivity that my blog has generated and try to make a positive change to the lives of people who really need it. Thanks very much for reading and again, if you can donate, please do, thank you!