Let’s increase mental health and suicide prevention awareness TOGETHER.
On Saturday 12 May, Happiful and Counselling Directory will be joining hundreds of people in Battersea Park for the first Walking Out of Darkness event in 2018.
Organised by mental health campaigner and CLASP founder Kenny Johnston, Walking Out of Darkness events bring people together in a supportive environment to walk 10 miles, share their experiences (if they wish to) and raise money for mental health and suicide prevention charities across the country.
Mental Health Campaigners, Jake Tyler and Hope Virgo will be joining the walk on Saturday and recently spoke to Happiful about their involvement in Walking Out of Darkness.
Author of Stand Tall Little Girl, Hope said “Being involved in Walking Out Of Darkness is really important to me because when I relapsed I felt suicidal a lot of the time and there were days when I just wanted to completely end my life altogether and I didn’t know were to turn to at that point.”
“For me, bringing together groups of people to talk about this is so, so important. The more we talk about it, the more we can normalise those conversations, so that everyone can reach out for the help they need.”
Jake’s own experiences and work as a mental health advocate inspired him to support Walking Out Of Darkness. “I got involved in championing better mental health through a personal crisis of my own. I’d lived with depression for years and it had gone undiagnosed. When I got signed off work, I decided to use exercise and being outdoors as a way of managing my mental health.”
“I got involved with Walking Out Of Darkness last year as after the documentary I was in, Mind Over Marathon, me and my co-participants wanted to get involved and continue to bang the drum for mental health.”
Organiser of Walking Out of Darkness, Kenny Johnston, has had personal experience of attempting suicide and now uses his own experiences to help other people. In 2013, he established CLASP (Counselling, Life Advice, Suicide Prevention) and later established annual Walking Out of Darkness events to enable local and regional communities to unite and end mental ill-health stigma.
Kenny said, “Walking Out of Darkness is an opportunity for local communities, charities, schools, businesses and the public as a whole to come together to raise mental health awareness, promote mental health wellbeing and suicide prevention.”
Happiful and Counselling Directory team members will also be at the walk on Saturday, with a stand in Battersea Park and the Scoop, London. Please come along and say hello, grab a free copy of the magazine and speak with us about your thoughts on ending the stigma around mental health.
The walk on Saturday 12 May is the first of many across the UK - other events will take place in Nottingham, York, Brighton, Bristol, Norwich and Birmingham.
To find a counsellor in your area visit Counselling Directory