Supporting #RunAndTalk in 2018

Supporting #RunAndTalk in 2018

To support Time to Talk Day on Thursday 1st February, England Athletics are encouraging people to #RunAndTalk to improve their mental wellbeing through running and to break down the stigma associated with mental health by getting people talking about it.

The event follows on from the successful #runandtalk events in October 2017 in support of World Mental Health Day which saw around 100 organised runs to support mental wellbeing through running.

During the week of 27th January to 2nd February 2018 we’re encouraging people to run one mile or further and to have a chat with friends, family, colleagues or other runners. This can be done at a time and location of their choice or by joining one of the organised runs at an England Athletics club or RunTogether group.

The event is supported by a network of over 420 volunteer England Athletics Mental Health Ambassadors who are active in affiliated running clubs and registered running groups across England to support those of us who are experiencing mental health problems. The support available includes helping people to start running, get back into running, or continue running as well as to improve the mental wellbeing of their existing members.

The #RunAndTalk campaign aims to improve mental health through running in England by:

  • getting people talking about mental health, sharing their experiences and removing stigma
  • raising awareness of mental health problems
  • supporting people experiencing mental health problems to be physically active through running, whether that is to support them in starting, returning to or continuing to run

We’re often told that physical activity is good for our bodies and our minds, but having a mental health problem can make it difficult to get started, for a number of reasons, ranging from negative body image, or a lack of self-esteem through to practical reasons such as having no one to go with, or not knowing where to get started.

The #RunAndTalk campaign is being supported by the mental health charity Mind. Hayley Jarvis, Community Programmes Manager (Sport) at Mind, said: "Mind is delighted to support England Athletics and the #RunAndTalk initiative. It’s well known that regular physical active is good for our bodies - and there’s good evidence that being active improves our mental wellbeing too. Our research with Loughborough University reinforced this, showing that being physically active, in a social, supportive environment had a positive impact on mental wellbeing and improved people’s resilience and ability to cope. #RunAndTalk is a great initiative that everyone can get involved with to support their own mental health, while meeting others in their local community and having fun."

Ben Smith from the 401 Foundation is one of the high profile supporters of the campaign and said, "I believe that mental health is one of the 21st Century's biggest issues. When you think about it, your mental health basically governs everything, how you act, how you feel about yourself, how you interact with people. People are really struggling on a day to day basis with their mental health, this twinned with the stigma that is attached to actually talking about it means so many people suffer in silence. This has a profound impact not only on the individual but on loved ones, friends and our local communities as a whole. It's becoming known that there is a positive link between running and mental health. The freedom, the routine, the confidence, the breaking down of barriers and the interactions and open conversations that seem to happen during a run help. Through my own personal experience and the reasons I have mentioned, that's why I am a proud supporter of England Athletic's initiative to #RunAndTalk."

Liz Purbrick, Inclusion Manager at England Athletics said: "We are really pleased to once again be supporting Time to Talk Day with #RunAndTalk, along with our Mental Health Ambassador Programme. We are passionate about the benefits running can bring to both physical and mental wellbeing and ensuring it is an activity that is accessible and beneficial to all. We hope that #RunAndTalk will continue to help to breakdown some of the stigma attached to mental health and support people to access the social, physical and mental wellbeing benefits that running can bring. We’re delighted to have support form Ben Smith and other high profile individuals who share our passion for supporting mental wellbeing through running."

Running is one of the most accessible and low cost ways to be active and meet government recommendations to be moderately active for at least 150 minutes per week. Whether it’s to get fit, improve health, make friends or take on a challenge running has something to offer everyone.

Time to Talk Day is on Thursday 1st February and is a day that brings the nation together to get talking and break the silence around mental health problems

To join a #runandtalk organised run search on MeetUp for your nearest #runandtalk or visit and use #runandtalk on social media to be part of the conversation. 

Click here to find out more about Time to Talk Day.

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