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Take part in 'Time to Talk Day'

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Friday 26th January 2018
Tags  runandtalk   |   timetotalk   |   England Athletics   |   Ben Smith
A nationwide series of #runanadtalk events, targeted at improving mental wellbeing through running, have been announced by England Athletics in support of ‘Time to Talk Day’ on Thursday February 1, 2018.
Taking place throughout the week of January 27 to February 2, the #runandtalk campaign encourages people to run a mile or further as they chat with friends, family, colleagues or other runners. This can be done at any time or location, or via one of the many events organised by local RunTogether groups, road running and athletics clubs. Local #runandtalk runs can be found via the MeetUp app or website.
Time to Talk Day, launched in 2014, brings the nation together to get talking and breaking any silence around mental health problems. Previous #runandtalk events took place in October 2017, in support of World Mental Health Day, with around 100 organised runs to support mental wellbeing through running.
Running has been shown to provide notable mental health benefits with an England Athletics survey, released in November, revealing that running in a group makes 90% of people happier and 74% of runners saying running is good for their mental wellbeing.
Despite all the mental health benefits of physical activity and running, those with mental health problems can find it difficult to get started for a number of reasons, from negative body image and lack of self-esteem through to practical reasons such as having no one to go with, or not knowing where to get started.
#runanadtalk is supported by mental health charity Mind and a network of over 420 volunteer England Athletics Mental Health Ambassadors. The volunteers are active in affiliated running clubs and registered running groups across England and support runners 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.
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”
Hayley Jarvis, Community Programmes Manager (Sport) at Mind, added: “Mind is delighted to support England Athletics and the #RunAndTalk initiative. It’s well known that regular physical activity 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, founder of the 401 Foundation, completed 401 marathons in 401 days and is one of the campaign’s high-profile supporters, commenting: "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 Athletics’ initiative to #RunAndTalk."
To join a #runandtalk organised run search on MeetUp for your nearest #runandtalk or visit https://www.meetup.com/runandtalk/events/ and use #runandtalk on social media to be part of the conversation.

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