From this Thursday, Shawmind, a mental health charity, is inviting people to take part in its month-long activity to encourage gentle exercise, raise funds and increase awareness around suicide, mental health and wellbeing.
The campaign, Walk a Mile in My Shoes, aims to get people thinking and talking to one another about mental health and emotional wellbeing while they walk a mile. This Thursday is World Suicide Prevention Day, and the campaign runs (or walks) until October 9, which is World Mental Health Day.
Supporters will walk alone, with members of their household or with a friend, while adhering to the latest government advice on social distancing. They might chart their miles throughout the month or simply build themselves up to a couple of miles by the end of the month.
Peter Wingrove, the CEO at Shawmind, said: “As well as providing an opportunity for people to get out and enjoy some fresh air, we hope participants will use Walk a Mile in My Shoes to address the stigma surrounding mental ill-health and talk more openly about their wellbeing needs.
“Funds raised through this campaign will go directly to training primary and secondary school teachers in basic mental health support, which is important because they are the front line of mental health in our classrooms – 75 per cent of diagnosable mental health conditions present before a child’s 18th birthday, so it’s crucial that teachers are well prepared to deal with mental health and can recognise the signs of children in distress.
“It costs £100 to train each teacher and we would like to train 151,000 in the next five years, so that they can make a real difference to the lives of young people now and in the future. To achieve this, we are asking people to get behind us and Walk a Mile in My Shoes.”
At the end of their first mile, walkers are encouraged to upload a photo or video to their social media channels and tell everyone about Walk a Mile in My Shoes, before challenging four friends to do the same. They are asked to tag @Shawmind_ in the posts and use the hashtag #WalkAMileInMyShoes.
Shawmind will share as many posts as possible during the campaign and will release a montage video featuring as many posts as possible on World Mental Health Day.
Shawmind says that 1 in 3 people are affected by mental health issues each year, but many find it difficult to access support and ongoing services and this is what drives the charity to provide communities with positive mental health and wellbeing support.
The charity offers support to those experiencing poor mental health through its volunteer-led online, text and telephone service.
For more information, visit www.shawmind.org.
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