England Athletics have teamed up with MIND to play a crucial part in the mental health of the UK by starting the campaign #runandtalk. The aims of this campaign are to…

  1. Get people talking about mental health, sharing their experiences and removing stigma.

  2. Raising awareness of mental health issues.

  3. Supporting people experiencing mental health problems to be physically active through athletics.

They have appointed Mental Health Ambassadors around the country to lead this change within EA clubs. We are pleased to announce one of these ambassadors is Herts Phoenix athlete Aby Griffiths. Here’s what she had to say…

"10 years ago I joined Herts Phoenix as a quiet but determined 11 year old. Many people know I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years, more recently a broken toe. People know because I’ve told them. Physical health is easy to talk about, people understand, people empathise.

Most people don’t know that when I joined Herts Phoenix I was massively struggling with invisible injuries. People don’t know because I’ve not told them. Mental health isn’t easy to talk about. I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed, but I know it would make people uncomfortable.

I’ve been asked this week “How’s the broken toe?” to which I gave a brief update on the colour of it. Can you imagine someone saying on the track, “How’s the anxiety been?” in the same casual but caring manner? No. If someone is brave enough to not let it be the elephant in the room, its asked in hushed tones, with a waver in the voice suggesting they weren’t sure whether it was appropriate to ask.

Athletics was, and still is, a huge part of my recovery. I found athletics because I was good at it, but it can help those with invisible injuries who aren’t natural athletes. However they need to know we are here, we are welcoming, and more importantly, we want them to be a part of our club. Athletics didn’t help me because I won races or ran sub 43 seconds in 300m. It helped me because it gave me a second family, I was exercising regularly and I had an escape.

Please support me by getting involved with #runandtalk aims. I’ll be periodically posting information and hope to organise an exciting evening event in the next year so please get involved. And if anyone wants to know more about my story, then find me at the track and ask me without a waver in your voice. We have to start talking about it."

Featured Posts
Recent Posts