Marathon runners support mental health charities

NHS staff put their best foot forward to support mums with mental health issues
NHS staff put their best foot forward to support mums with mental health issues

The third Worthing Half Marathon will take place on Sunday and among the line-up will be charity runners supporting mental health causes.

A team from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation in Worthing will be supporting women experiencing mental health problems during pregnancy and after giving birth.

Paul Thornton from Steyning will be running dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters

Paul Thornton from Steyning will be running dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters

Hannah Clyfton-Myers, Rebecca Freestone and Michael Rutherford, who work for the trust’s specialist perinatal mental health service, will be joined by Tina Favier from Coastal Care West Sussex, who works closely with the team, and her husband Ben.

Other members of the team will be lining the route to cheer them on.

Hannah said: "We’re running to raise awareness of perinatal mental health and hopefully help to reduce the stigma that surrounds it.

"Having a new baby is a happy time but for the 15 per cent of women who experience post-natal depression it can also be confusing and scary.

"Their families often struggle to know what to do and that’s why it’s so important to show people that it’s ok to talk about perinatal mental illness and ask for help.

“We wanted to do something that was achievable but also a challenge, in recognition of the challenges that women experiencing perinatal mental health issues face.

"Ben and I have run the Worthing Half before but this is new territory for the rest of the team. Tina’s managed a 10K in the past but Rebecca hasn’t run for several years, so she’s had to get back in training, and Michael’s never run a race before but we’re all completely committed and looking forward to Sunday."

The team is raising vital funds for Sussex Partnership’s charity, Heads On, which support projects that make a real difference to patient care. Visit www.justgiving.com/PerinatalMentalHealthCWS to make a donation.

Paul Thornton from Steyning will be running dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, and is hoping he will not be last again, like last year.

A lot has happened since then and Paul wants to raise money to give something back to a service that helped him.

He explained: "I have never been great at running but I have always had the determination to finish, even if it means walking.

"Back in October, I was in crisis and admitted to Coral Ward at Langley Green Hospital. I am on the road to recovery now and am running to raise mental health awareness and funds for the ward I was in.

"To be honest, it was probably the best experience of NHS mental health treament I have ever had. All proceeds will be presented to the ward directly rather than going to a national charity as I want the funds to go to this ward where I was a patient."

Visit www.facebook.com/run4mhealth for more information.