Stepping up for Mental Health Awareness Week

Stepping up for Mental Health Awareness Week

It was a pleasure to be able to organise such a fantastic event with college staff that took part in May as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Below is an article and pictures from the day

College staff launched their support for Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 by stepping up their own activity and taking part in our Ultimate Walk and Talk fund-raising event.

The 20-mile challenge involved staff walking between our different college campuses and was organised to promote the benefits of physical activity and talking on a person’s mental health. A total of 26 people from across the college took part and encouraged one another to complete the walk. Some people opted to complete a shorter eight-mile walk.

Steven White, an IT technician at the college who organised the event, said: “Mental health is really important to us and awareness around it is something we are always keen to promote.

“For Mental Health Awareness Week, we chose to highlight the positive impact physical exercise and being outdoors as part of a team working together has on mental wellbeing. It was also an opportunity for us to raise funds for The Sally Allan Fund, a mental health charity very close to the college’s heart.”

Sally Allan, a Gateshead College retiree, took her own life on Boxing Day in 2015 after masking her mental health challenges from those around her. The charity has developed a programme with Tyneside and Northumberland Mind to educate people on how they can take better care of themselves, spot the warning signs of mental illness, and also learn how lifestyle changes can improve mental wellbeing.

Steven added: “Huge thanks to those who took part. It really wasn’t a mean feat and there were some very tired legs by the end of the day – 950,000 steps were completed between us. We walked for nine hours with very short breaks, so those who completed it should feel very proud of themselves and the role they played in raising awareness of the importance of self-care.”

If you’d like to make a donation to The Sally Allan Fund, however small, please visit: Any donation would be greatly appreciated.