I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail on behalf of the mental health charity SANE, raising well over £3000 by the time I successfully reached Canada.
Mental health is an issue that I am extremely passionate about. One in four people will be afflicted with some kind of mental health problem at some point in their lives and one million people will end up committing suicide each year. For what is one of the most widespread afflictions and leading causes of fatality, it is remarkable that there is still so much stigma around it. Nearly nine out of ten people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination have a negative effect on their lives, and this stigma is regularly exacerbated by things like the media, “lad” culture and simple lack of awareness about mental health issues.
There is so much more that can be done to raise awareness and challenge stigma and discrimination of mental illness, and it is for this reason I chose to use my adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail to raise funds and awareness for SANE.
SANE is a UK-wide charity working to improve quality of life for people affected by mental illness. SANE has three main objectives:
- To raise awareness and combat stigma about mental illness, educating and campaigning to improve mental health services.
- To provide care and emotional support for people with mental health problems, their families and carers as well as information for other organisations and the public.
- To initiate research into the causes and treatments of serious mental illness such as schizophrenia and depression and the psychological and social impact of mental illness.
They are doing great work for mental illness but there is still a huge amount of progress that needs to be made.
I am no longer accepting donations for my thru-hike but you can still have a look at the SANE website and can donate your money or your time to the cause.
Donating just £10 will provide regular support for one vulnerable person, providing them with comfort and support at times that are most difficult for them. £50 will provide four people with an in-depth, personal call back from a mental health professional, providing them with consistent care in a time of despair.