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Run and Talk launch

An exciting initiative to help improve mental health through running will be launched this Sunday at Southampton Athletics Club.

England Athletics and Mind have partnered for the creation of the national #RunandTalk programme, in the hope of improving mental health through running.

The local arm of this will be run at Southampton Athletics Club and the club’s Mental Health Champion, Rob Shenton, is encouraging local people to join.

Rob shares how running has helped him: “I suffer from recurrent depression and PTSD. I was eventually medically discharged from the forces, after 25 years in uniform. I started running regularly as I found it gave me the space to think and reflect about life and the challenges ahead.

“Southampton Athletics Club has helped me develop my running and even after many years of running I am still learning and the thrill of competing is just amazing, I really don't care about the result, just getting to the start line is a win. The support you get from the coaches is brilliant.”

The local launch event of the national programme will be attended by Sue Forber, Director of Services at Solent Mind, as well as other mental health services across the county, who will be giving time to explain what their service can offer & how they may be of help to attendees of the event.

Sue, who is also a keen runner, said: “When I get the chance to go for a run, it really does get me back on track and is a good tool to manage my mental health." 

The aim of the Run and Talk project is to:

• Get people to join the club and connect with others.

• Get people talking about mental health, sharing their experiences and removing stigma.

• Help people to improve not just their physical fitness, but also to help improve mental fitness and build up mental resilience.

Rob added: “Running gives you a chance to be active and connect with others, two of the basics of good wellbeing. We are so glad that Solent Mind has joined Southampton Athletic Club for the launch of this event, let’s hope many others will benefit from this new initiative.”

Run & Talk will launch this Sunday at 10am, 27 June, at Southampton Athletics track on Thornhill Road, SO16 7BT. Find out more information and secure your place at the launch.

Rob's Story

When a bike accident forced keen runner Rob Shenton to stop exercise, he had to draw on coping skills he had built up over the years to help him recover both mentally and physically. The army veteran, who is also a member of Southampton Athletics Club, says getting out in nature during his recovery helped lift him out of a potentially damaging low mood. Here, he shares his story.

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