Mental health boss’s Leeds to London run

RUNNING MAN: Joe Faulkner will run from Leeds to London for Rethink, a charity which supports people affected by mental health issues.
RUNNING MAN: Joe Faulkner will run from Leeds to London for Rethink, a charity which supports people affected by mental health issues.
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A mental health manager is to run from Leeds to London in a marathon fundraising effort.

Joe Faulkner, 31, is to run to the capital on ten consecutive days in April to raise money for mental health charity Rethink.

Rethink supports people affected by mental health and challenges stigma issues.

Mr Faulkner, who is a locality manager for East North East Community Mental Health Team, which covers Leeds, said: “I first became aware of mental health illnesses and mental health when I became a child carer for a very close family member. It was these early experiences that led me to decide to complete my nursing training and become a registered mental health nurse.”

Mr Faulkner hopes to raise £10,000 for the charity.

He added: “I also hope for this challenge to continue to raise the conversations around mental health and mental health stigma. No one should feel that they are not being valued, treated with respect or supported due to having difficulties with their mental health at any time in their lives.”

The goal of his ‘marathon a day’ challenge is to raise funds for mental health first aid and for awareness training for groups and individuals.

Mr Faulkner said: From this, I hope for further training to be arranged and for awareness training to be seen as must have for all.”

He has had some high profile support for his campaign already. Olympic triathlon medalists Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, from Leeds, and Yorkshire and England cricketer Jonny Bairstow are supporting him on social media, as is Saracens’ rugby star Richard Wigglesworth.

Mr Faulkner has been training hard for his epic run. He completed his first marathon on his birthday in October and has done back-to-back half marathons. In October the YEP launched its vital #SpeakYourMind campaign, which is calling on people across the city to help combat the social stigma surrounding mental health.

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