At it again! If you'd have told me, when I was 14, that I'd be running the London Marathon one day, I would have cried with laughter. Not a chance - I did not run.
Last year I had the opportunity to run a half marathon in order to raise money for Bromley Y, a counselling service for children and young people. Mental health is something that I am extremely passionate about, and as a new board member for the charity, it only feels right to continue serving in any way I can, so that these wonderful people can help more like me.
I am very open about my struggle with mental illness, and many know that when I was 16 I developed an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. I received therapy at Bromley Y, which was a place I felt safe, heard, and understood. I worked with a therapist who helped me to challenge my thoughts, and taught me things that I still hold dear today. I had years of treatment ahead of me, but I recognise that I am very fortunate to have received help quickly and of great quality at Bromley Y. It is so important for people to receive intervention as early as possible in order to decrease the severity and possibility of long-lasting issues. Bromley Y helps so many young people; I am so honoured to be working with the charity, and grateful to have gotten a place in the London Marathon to raise money for them.
1 in 4 people suffer from a mental illness. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and recently we have moved forward and started to raise more awareness. There is still a lot of stigma that needs to be eradicated, and I hope that by running this marathon, I will be able to inspire more people to speak up.
As I embark on this journey of pounding the streets in rain, wind, and I pray sun, please consider sponsoring me - 26.2 miles is a lot and Bromley Y is a very worthy charity.
(If you need to speak to someone about anything, at any time, the Samaritans is a 24 hour confidential phone line: 116123)