Chichester parkrun #252

This week we were very pleased to welcome the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust who introduced us to their SAFE (Suicide Awareness For Everyone) Campaign. Their thought provoking presentation was very well received by our 16 vital hi-vis volunteers and 207 runners/walkers.

I think it would be fair to suggest that we need our society to accept that mental health issues are not uncommon, not something to hide nor something that makes someone "a lesser person". If someone gets appendicitis, for example, we do not think badly of them so why should it not be the same with mental health ?

Many of us tend to be reluctant to open up about concerns or anxieties. It is now well established that problems can be successfully dealt with if they are addressed at an early stage but for this to happen individuals need to be encouraged to become more open and to know where they can get help.

I guess we all have a little "headspace" reserved for things we are reluctant to expose, sometimes even to ourselves. This is also probably quite an "English Thing" so we have often become conditioned to holding back on concerns or worries. It is now recognised that opening up our communication with each other can be very beneficial. Our guests today from the SAFE Campaign made this point eloquently and with conviction. How lucky we are in this country to have people and organisations dedicated to helping people through the difficulties, pressures and hazards of life in the 21st Century. So, thank you to our local health professionals who joined us today.

Sussex Mental Heathline Call: 0300 5000 101

Hope Line UK Call: 0800 068 41 41

The Samaritans Call: 116 123 or email Jo@samaritans.org

Many thanks also to our volunteers without whom today's event would not have been possible. They were.....Mike HOUSTON • Mike MOORCROFT • Jane TAYLOR • Geoff SUMNER • Liz WINGHAM • Peter ANDERSON • Jeremy HARRISON • Joely WHARTON • Steve WHITMEE • Liz STANLEIGH-TURNER • Kik DEACON • Colin HANCOCK • Tony HACK • Terry FALASCHI • Elizabeth ROBINSON & Jan IRELAND

Excitement is reaching fever pitch since participants at Chichester parkrun have now covered a total distance of 199,190 kms so next week I estimate that finisher 162 should take us past the 200,000 kms mark.

Extensive in depth analysis revealed lots of aesthetically pleasing times this week but since it was his debut parkrun the award goes to Elliott Wadley with 32:32. Commiserations to all the other contestants in this most challenging of contests.

Geoff Sumner