Runner's World (UK) - - LONDON CALLING - uk.vir­gin­money­giv­ Creasy­head­sto­gether


‘Sui­cide was not a word we ever imag­ined would be as­so­ci­ated with our fam­ily. How­ever, in 2012, my fa­ther – a highly re­spected doc­tor – took his own life after an acute strug­gle with de­pres­sion. He was 55.

It was a mas­sive shock for us all and even as a doc­tor my­self I found it dif­fi­cult to ac­cept that he’d died as a re­sult of men­tal health prob­lems, be­cause phys­i­cal ill­nesses are eas­ier to un­der­stand. That’s what this marathon is all about. I’m run­ning it along with my mum, Philippa, and my brother, Will, to raise funds and aware­ness for CALM (Cam­paign Against Liv­ing Mis­er­ably), in association with Heads To­gether, two men­tal health char­i­ties. Sui­cide is the big­gest cause of death among men under 45 in the UK. We need to pro­mote a change in cul­ture to re­move the stigma as­so­ci­ated with men­tal health prob­lems and en­sure those con­sid­er­ing sui­cide feel able to seek help through char­i­ties like CALM.

None of us were run­ners be­fore this, but we’ve been get­ting to­gether at week­ends for the long runs and I text mum and Will the ses­sions they need to fit in dur­ing the week. My week­day runs are mostly after work with a head-torch! The headspace run­ning of­fers has been help­ful for all of us. I’ve found my­self en­joy­ing it now, and Mum has made it so much part of her rou­tine that I think she’ll carry on after the marathon. It’s go­ing to be a hugely emo­tional day and an im­mense phys­i­cal chal­lenge, but we’ll be think­ing of Dad and there’ll be lots of his friends and fam­ily out sup­port­ing us. We will cross the fin­ish line to­gether.’

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