#RunAndTalk to support Time to Talk Day

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 events held around Time to Talk Day on Thursday 7th February follow on from the successful #RunAndTalk events in October 2018 in support of World Mental Health Day which saw around 200 organised runs to support mental wellbeing through running.

During the week of 2nd-8th February 2019 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 450 volunteer Mental Health Champions who are active in affiliated athletics and running clubs and RunTogether groups across England, whose roles is 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, Head of Physical Activity for Mind, said: “While we all know that being more active is good for our physical health, it can also be really good for our mental health too, which is why we’re delighted to support England Athletics and the #RunAndTalk initiative. We know that physical activity can be particularly important for people with mental health problems, as a way to break up racing thoughts and reduce feelings of stress. It can also reduce the risk of depression by up to 30%. Unfortunately we also know that many people who do want to participate in sport are being held back by their mental health, whether that’s feelings of low self-confidence, exhaustion or fear of crowded spaces. We hope that initiatives like #RunAndTalk can encourage more people to get involved both to support their own mental health, while also meeting others in their local community and having fun.”

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 Mental Health Champions in running clubs and RunTogether groups across the country. 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.”

  • To join a #RunAndTalk organised run visit
  • Join the conversation on social media using #RunAndTalk.