Why I’m running the London Marathon for MIND in Croydon

By - Wednesday 1st February, 2017

One Croydonian is putting on his running shoes to support mental health and well-being in the local community

“How are you today?”. “Good”. “OK”. “Fine”, comes the expected reply. But this week, it’s time to consider probing a bit further if you think that might not be the case.

That’s because Thursday 2nd February is Time to Talk Day, an annual day led by mental health charity MIND to raise awareness of mental health problems, which asks people to make time to talk to others about how they are feeling.

One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Looking at this issue at a local level, there are an estimated 381,000 people living in Croydon. So that equates to 95,000 Croydonians. The borough of Croydon also had the most suicides in London with thirty-six in 2014, a shocking 60% rise on the previous year, whereas London as a whole has the lowest suicide rate in the UK.

Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of forty-five in the UK right now. We can all do something to help reverse this statistic: we can be there for others. This week, consider taking some time to pick up the phone or send a text to ask someone how they are. Tell people around you that if anything is wrong, you are there to talk to them about it. The impact that you will have will much bigger than you think.

Raising money for this cause is what gets me out and running in the freezing cold

I believe that our mental health and wellbeing are just as important as our physical health. However, at the moment too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless by other people’s reactions. But talking about mental health doesn’t need to be difficult. It can be as simple as making time to have a cup of tea or go for a walk, and listening to someone talk about how they feel. If you broke your leg, you would probably post that straight on your social media channels and invite people over to sign your plaster cast. Yet the complete opposite is true of a mental health issue; people often don’t even tell those closest to them about their issues and don’t seek help due to fear of others’ reactions. So let those around you know that you are there for them.

So this April I will be representing Croydon and the mental health charity MIND (which is doing a great job in Croydon) and running those 26.2 miles of the London Marathon. Two years ago I couldn’t even run for the tram without it taking a toll on me, but last October I ran a half marathon (also for MIND) and I felt that I had more in me.

Running to raise money for this cause is what gets me out in the freezing cold to run around Lloyd Park and surrounding areas several times per week. Any sponsorship that Croydon Citizen readers can give would be very much appreciated and would help to combat the stigma around mental health. Thank you to anyone who feels able to do so.

Readers wishing to help Tommy Newman raise money for MIND in Croydon can find his sponsorship details here.

Tommy Newman

Tommy Newman

Tommy has lived in Croydon for 7 years and is Co-Founder / Chief Technical Officer of rscpp.co.uk, an online service helping people to find private mental health therapists. Tommy is working on a new mobile platform connecting individuals with professionals to improve their wellbeing and enabling them to thrive, email tommy [at] rscpp.co.uk or visit thrivo.uk if you are interested in trialling the service. He enjoys tapping into the growing business support infrastructure and community that Croydon has to offer.

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  • HaroldAMaio

    —-combat the stigma around mental health??
    Hopefully you mean “educate people who direct that prejudice”, you do not really want to direct it yourself.