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Ciara Shiles

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Running the Manchester Half Marathon on 13/10/2019 for South Yorkshire's Community Foundation because I won and I want to help others do the same.

116 %
£290.00
raised of £250 target
by 15 supporters
Donate

SToRMS: The Dan McAllister Foundation

SToRMS: Implementing Strategies To Reduce Male Suicide.

Charity Registration No. 1140947

Story

Anyone who has had the privilege of listening to my life story will know that I’ve been through **it. For those who haven’t heard it all, join me for the post-race drinks and I’ll enlighten you; it’s a cracker of a tale!

In all seriousness, those two years were hell. There’s no other way to describe it. My mood was at rock-bottom, I’d go to dark places in my head, I’d dissociate, have panic attacks, find it hard to sleep at night etc. and for a while, I had absolutely no idea what was wrong with me which made it all the more scary for myself, my family and my friends.

Luckily, I look at myself now and don’t see that person. Because after a couple of trips to the GP, some blood tests, two counsellors, plenty of teary conversations with my parents, a lot of growing up, learning and relearning, finding solace in running, tranquility in poetry, and support from my friends, family and the staff at my secondary school, I can proudly say that I am so much better.

As you can see, it wasn’t an easy or simple process and at times, I just wanted to give up; I was so tired and done with fighting. But, I didn’t. There’s a stanza from one of my poems that articulates it well:

“Yes, it was scary,

but I didn’t turn and run.

I turned to face it and guess what?

I won.”

The thing is, I wouldn’t have had the strength to continue fighting without help from my family and friends and the staff at school. And I wouldn’t have had their help if I hadn’t reached out and asked for it.

SToRMS is a charity local to Sheffield that was set up in memory of Dan McAllister after he unexpectedly took his own life in 2015. He was nineteen years old. The charity work to raise awareness of and prevent suicide, specifically young male suicide, by

  1. Facilitating widespread open discussions about suicide
  2. Promoting mental well-being and emotional resilience from an early age
  3. Challenging gender stereotypes that prevent men from accessing help
  4. Highlighting the relationship between alcohol and mental wellbeing
There is stigma surrounding all mental health problems, but for guys, it can be a lot harder to open up and speak about them due to stereotyping and shame. It’s time to change that. No one should be afraid of speaking openly about mental health and everyone should be able to get the help they need before it’s too late.

Exercise has become part of my self-care routine. I do kickboxing when I’m at uni, but I love running most of all which is why I’ve chosen to run the Manchester Half Marathon on 13th October 2019. I’ve been told it’s a flat, fast course, presenting new challenges for me to face and hopefully conquer which is why it’s also the perfect opportunity to raise some money for SToRMS. So please, give what you can and share this page. You can also come down and support me on the day, if you want!


Remember:

Check up on your friends, look after yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

You are strong. You are worthy. You can do this. Xxx

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