Run and talk to focus on mental health

10 October 2017

A global focus on mental health will be marked by South Cambridgeshire District Council with a run and talk event this week, which aims to get more residents talking about how they’re feeling.

Today is World Mental Health Day, and latest figures from the charity Mind suggest around one in four adults in the UK, and one in ten children, experience a mental health problem each year.

This Thursday lunchtime (12 October) the Council is running “run and talk” event, which is supported by Mind.

The idea behind the activity, which will be at Cambourne Business Park, is to encourage people to share their experiences of mental health, with the aim of reducing the stigma around the subject, while also getting exercise through running or walking one or three miles.

The location has been chosen because the theme for today’s World Mental Health Day is workplace wellbeing.

Employees of the Council, whose HQ is at Cambourne, and neighbouring companies are being encouraged to take their full lunch break, attend the event, and post about their involvement in #runandtalk on social media.

Cllr Sue Ellington, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, said: “'I am very excited about this event.

“I’m no runner, but I love to walk and I know that being able to walk with good company, chatting away, can really lift my spirits.

“It makes me feel much more able to respond to the challenges which life keeps throwing at me.

“So, do come and join us on Thursday lunchtime for some fresh air, exercise and a good old natter!”

Mandy Downs, an employee at South Cambridgeshire District Council, has explained how being active helps her, saying: “I have bipolar disorder and find exercise very helpful in managing my condition.

“I go to my local gym and always feel so much better after exercising and this, coupled with being honest about my illness by talking openly about it, takes away a lot of the stress and anxiety associated with mental illness.

“The more we can take away the mystery and fear of mental illness the better.

“It is ironic that this is an illness that can be improved by talking, yet sometimes this can feel very uncomfortable for both the person with the illness and the one listening when there is little understanding of it.”

The #runandtalk event starts at Cambourne Business Park’s Marketing Office, CB23 6DW, at 12:30pm on Thursday (12 October).

It is part of a two year initiative, funded by Public Health England, called Let’s Get Moving Cambridgeshire.

This aims to improve the health of Cambridgeshire residents by getting them to exercise more.

If you want to get involved in this project, perhaps by setting up a new activity, contact Ellen Bridges at South Cambridgeshire District Council on or by calling 01954 713 294.

Cambridge, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind is a local charity which supports local people recovering from mental health challenges.

Augusta Care also supports adults with mental health challenges, enabling them to maintain their independence in their own homes.