Mid Sussex running group runs mental health awareness session

The running team
The running team

A Mid Sussex running group has hosted a ‘Run and Talk’ session to highlight the impact of mental health on men and the positive effects of physical exercise.

J&M Running, with support from England Athletics and Mind, held the session in Haywards Heath on September 25.

A total of 24 participants met at Beech Hurst Park to run, jog and walk the 5k route, before having a coffee and a chat in the Harvester restaurant.

Run and Talk is a national campaign to raise awareness of mental health and provide support and guidance to people experiencing mental health problems. It also encourages people to become more physically active through running.

This year’s theme was ‘men’, as men are less likely to talk about mental health issues and as a result do not seek help for issues such as anxiety, worry and stress, panic attacks, and depression.

Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under 50 and the leading cause of death for men aged 20 to 34. This makes them three times more likely to take their own lives than women, the group said.

Physical exercise has a positive effect on mental health and the event gave people an opportunity to feel good, talk issues through, build a support network and realise that they were not alone.