So this week it’s less of a blog and more of a shameless plug – it’s time to get your charity on and support a good cause. Why’s that? Because I’m going from blogger to jogger and obstacle hopper, lacing up my trainers and hitting the gym – and not just to keep myself sane, which is usually the reason.
Nope – with twelve weeks to go, it’s time to get training. I’m not that strong, I’m not very big, and I’m not a particularly good runner—but on July 7th, I’ll be tackling Tough Mudder for Mind Charity—and I need your sponsorship. (And also for Adam, my fellow runner, to pull me over the really big obstacles).
I completed a Tough Mudder ‘half’ last year, but this time I’m kicking it up a notch by taking on the full race. Adam and I will be running (or stumbling) 10 miles, interspersed with 20 gruelling obstacles from the ‘Arctic Enema’ to ‘Electroshock therapy’. Yep, they’re exactly what they sound like: an ice bath and getting electrocuted.
Why am I running Tough Mudder?
It’s going to be tough. But I know first hand that some things are far tougher. Such as having an anxiety and depression induced nervous breakdown, and having to rebuild your life from scratch, for example. And some things are tougher still—like recovering from mental illness without financial support.
When I had a breakdown, I was far luckier than many people: I had the resources and the support to take time off work, see a good counsellor and recover at my own pace. I was an adult, but I had a loving Mum who was able to take me home and look after me. I didn’t have to worry about accessing services – I just focused on getting better.
Very few people are so lucky. NHS resources simply can’t cope with the growing mental health crisis: a report last year showed that 80% of NHS bosses fear they can’t support the levels of people now requiring mental health services. Waiting lists are long, the therapies available are often short-lived (4 sessions with a counsellor certainly wouldn’t have dug me out of the hole I was in), and services are woefully overstretched.
And this is a growing problem. Since I started Nicer Thoughts, I’ve been shocked and humbled time and time again by the people in my life who have approached me—quietly, overtly or ever-so-drunkenly—to share their mental health story. It’s everywhere we look, and it’s not going away.
And that’s a worrying thought. But supporting a fantastic charity like Mind can help to ease the burden. Mind provide advice and support to anyone experiencing mental health problems, campaign to improve services, and promote understanding. So any donations are greatly appreciated, and will help spur my sorry ass onwards through the race.
What can the money do?
£10 could help Mind campaign for better support services, talking therapy and crisis care for people whose mental health is in crisis.
£21 could help Mind’s supportive online community Elefriends run for one hour, giving people the chance to get hugely valuable ‘peer support’.
£39 could allow Mind’s Infoline call handlers to answer 5 calls from people, often in desperate need of support, helping them to find support and a way forward.
Where can you donate?
If you’ve enjoyed Nicer Thoughts at any point over the last seven months, please consider donating, even if it’s just a £1 (or $!). It takes a lot of effort and energy to keep a blog running on top of full time work. I do it for the love of it, and I hope it helps people – but I’d love to help people with cold hard cash even more!
I’ll keep you up to date with my training. Lots of love, Nic x