On Sunday 6th October 2019, I will be participating in the Cardiff Half Marathon and in doing so, I will be fundraising for a cause that is very dear to my heart.
In July 2017, I was admitted to the Priory Hospital in Bristol to receive inpatient treatment for depression, anxiety and OCD – conditions which I have suffered with throughout my entire adult life.
Despite my very best efforts at the time, I simply could not cope with living with such a debilitating series of mental illnesses for a day longer and was on the verge of committing suicide.
Fortunately, with the support of my family, friends and mental health professionals – I was able to make progress and begin the process of re-building my life again.
For so many years, I was determined to hide the severity of my illness from others. I didn’t think anybody would understand what I was going through and I was terrified of being labelled as weak.
I thought that by shielding my illness from others, I was protecting myself. The reality was that it made me even more vulnerable and defenceless. I just didn’t realise it at the time.
It has been two years since I was admitted to hospital and I have learned a great deal since that time. I now understand any mental health condition can be treated and seeking help in times of need is not a weakness, but a sign of immense strength and courage.
Quite simply, without the support I received from those who cared for me – I absolutely would not be here today.
My story is not unique and there are many people who too are living with a mental health condition, who are dependent on the kindness of others and the resources of mental health organisations to help them work through the challenges they face on a daily basis.
There has never been a greater need for mental health services to be made available to the public, however cuts to local authority spending mean that charities are more stretched for resources than ever before.
Because of this, I will be fundraising for Torfaen & Blaenau Gwent Mind in the hope that a significant amount of money can be generated to help the charity continue to provide its essential services to those in the greatest need of assistance.
Despite having served the community for the previous 35 years, Torfaen & Blaenau Gwent Mind will no longer be providing Supporting People Services in Torfaen after a tendering exercise performed by Torfaen County Borough Council resulted in the services transferring to another provider.
The services affected include Floating Support, Supported Housing, their Short-Term Empowerment Project, the Homeless/Vulnerable Males Project and the Mental Health and Housing Drop-in Surgery.
This means that in order to continue to provide others essential services, Torfaen & Blaenau Gwent Mind is more reliant on donations than ever before.
It is vital that the people of Torfaen & Blaenau Gwent have the opportunity to receive help whenever they need it and this can be made possible through your generosity.
I would be most grateful for your donations and assistance in raising awareness for what is an immensely worthy cause.
With my sincerest thanks,