**Update - The Hong Kong Marathon has been cancelled, but with some help from Mind HK I will run 26.2 miles on Feb 9th anyway! Donations of any size at all hugely appreciated. **
I am running the Hong Kong marathon on February 9th 2020 in memory of Laurence, who intimately knew what it was like to live with mental health conditions and was fired up by the thought of making things better in Hong Kong, along the lines of what Mind HK are now doing. And who would have run 100 marathons if he thought that would help the cause, but would be impressed that I am managing one!
And for everyone else whose mental health has stopped them from enjoying life.
Having good mental health means you feel confident in yourself, can feel and express a range of emotions, feel engaged with the world, live and work productively and can cope with the stresses of daily life and changing times.
Hong Kong is an extraordinary place.
But it's full of 'stressors' and many people's mental health falls short of the above.
There aren't enough services to help, and a lot of people don't seek help anyway because mental disorders are seen as shameful, or a weakness, or 'not bad enough' to get help. They remain undiagnosed and untreated because of this stigma and lack of awareness.
People suffer so much because of this.
The charity I am running for, Mind Hong Kong, works at these problems from all angles.
- Their website has bilingual, localised information about all mental health conditions and what resources are available in Hong Kong (www.mind.org.hk)
- They offer regular Mental Health First Aid training for companies and anyone who wants to learn more
- They run campaigns (like the 'How OK Are You' campaign) to raise awareness of mental health conditions and to improve understanding and destigmatisation (www.howokayareyou.com)
- They support youth mental health though a programme called Coolminds, training students, parents and teachers about mental health (www.coolmindshk.com)
- They work with local and international initiatives to borrow and share best practice
They work to make sure no one in Hong Kong has to face a mental health problem alone.
Thank you for helping me support this amazing charity!