Maidenhead mum takes on exercise challenge in aid of mental health

Maidenhead mum takes on exercise challenge in aid of mental health

Katie Wilson

A woman from Maidenhead has begun a January fundraising challenge in aid of the charity Mind after battling mental health issues herself. 

Katie Wilson, 43, is taking part in Move for Mind, and plans to complete a variety of exercise activities for 30 days this month to raise funds for the cause close to her heart.

She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2005 after experiencing severe depressive episodes, during the first of which she tried to take her own life.

“Exercise gives me hope, fulfilment and a sense of purpose. It clears my head, gets me outdoors, and allows me to spend time with my friends, where I can have conversations about managing mental health in a positive way," Katie said.

"Taking part in Move for Mind before was a godsend for me. I ended up doing 22 different activities in 40 days – everything from paddle boarding to Thai boxing, kayaking to Zumba, and raised £3,000 for Mind."

Katie also completed the challenge in January 2021, battling through national lockdown restrictions.

“I focused on walking, often with the kids on their scooters alongside me. It was great for them to see me doing it, getting out and appreciating the importance of exercise," she added.

"I’m doing it again because it’s provided me with so much joy and achievement."

A new survey by Mind found that a third of people (33 per cent) in the South East said that exercise has provided the opportunity to have conversations about mental health once or on multiple occasions.

Nearly half also said that exercise makes them feel comfortable enough to have conversations or open up about their mental health.

Kathleen Miles, director of fundraising at Mind, said: “We are so grateful to have Katie’s support through Move for Mind, once again, and wish her all the best with her challenge.

“The pandemic has had a lasting impact on our mental health, especially for those of us with existing mental health problems, and so many of us aren’t getting the support we need."

To support Katie and donate to Mind, click here. To sign-up to Move for Mind, click here. Participants must complete the 30 days by Wednesday, March 2. 

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