So, welcome to the official home of Mind Rush, a 2,300 mile bike ride to every single English Football League club all in aid of 2 amazing mental health charities here in the UK.
Let me start by telling you why I am doing this. Depression and suicide has blighted many people I know or have known since I can remember. In the last few months alone I have seen 2 people end their own lives and several others try. Living in uncertain times has caused a massive spike in depression and suicide in the UK and the stigma attached to mental health can raise certain anxieties when it comes to speaking out about it.
People are afraid to be seen as weak, people are seen as not wanting to put the burden on others and frighteningly, some people feel they have no way out. The mere thought of being seen as weak by society and its standards is a very scary and lonely prospect when you’re already feeling isolated and depressed.
I already feel that maybe if I was raising money for an illness that was more straight forward to understand across the world then half the battle in terms of fundraising would already be won. This is why it is imperative to make this both a fundraiser to two extremely important charities AND an expedition into raising awareness of the varying mental health problems that affect more people than we may ever know. Sadly, sometimes it’s the ones who act the strongest amongst us.
Even before lockdown, every week, 125 people commit suicide in the UK. I chose this particular challenge due to my overriding love of football and because it’s a challenge that I’ve no previous history of doing. Football has been sadly touched by suicide from the likes of my fellow countryman Gary Speed to Justin Fashanu, to international footballer Robert Enke, to Scotsman Charlie Adam and many more have suffered mental health problems. These are cases that have spanned decades, showing that it’s not a new illness by any means. Mental health doesn’t discriminate, it can effect anyone. It can be brought on by any type of situation, to any type of person. That’s exactly why we need to help.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched by mental health problems, that’s the severity and magnitude of the situation. Whether its feeling depressed yourself or knowing someone battling the illness. Because it is an illness, the stigmas attached to it need to end right here. If you break your leg you can go to hospital and get it put in a cast-if you are suffering from any form of mental health, it’s not so straight forward. But just like a broken leg, there are places you can go to help heal your mind too.
So this is to let people out there know, there is someone out there to help. The charities I have chosen to split the money between are MIND, who deal with mental health as a whole and work with people who are dealing with its various aspects, and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) who work to eradicate Suicide here in the UK. You can find out more about both charities and where your money will go at the ‘charities’ link at the top of the page.
I’m not a cyclist or an athlete. I’m taking on a tough challenge completely out of my comfort zone, I’m fully aware of how tough it’s going to be and i will happily admit it. For everyone thinking that it’s going to be a tough ask for me to do, then turn your mindset to the people around you who face varying battles every day within their own mind, that is even tougher. We are going to prove that a challenge can be conquered. I don’t want anyone else to suffer alone or feel like there’s no one out there they can turn to.