Suffolk Mind Chief Executive takes on national running campaign

The Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, is dusting off his trainers this January hoping to raise thousands of pounds to help people improve their mental health.

Jon Neal is taking part in R.E.D. (Run Every Day) January, which means he will be running every day for the first month of the year. It’s a national campaign and the aim is to raise awareness and open up the conversation about mental health by promoting the positive power exercise can have on our minds and wellbeing. 

In Suffolk, and across the UK, figures show one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. In England, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week.

Jon Neal says, “Lots of people struggle during January because it’s dark, Christmas is over and the weather is often cold and rainy, so it’s not surprising that the term ‘Blue January’ has become common. But we want to turn that on its head. Let’s make January RED, by running every day.

“A little exercise can be very helpful for staying mentally healthy. As well as producing endorphins in the body, which induce feelings of pleasure, aerobic exercise also burns off cortisol, which is a stress hormone. 

“I’m going to run every day during January and I’m hoping to recruit some guest runners to film myself chatting to as we jog…slowly.

“I haven’t run since I used to catch the bus when I had a Saturday job as a teenager, so it’s going to be interesting to see how I get on running a little further each day. Who knows, perhaps by the end of January I’ll be a total convert.”

Jon will be completing a video diary of his progress throughout R.E.D. January which can be seen on the Suffolk Mind Facebook and twitter pages.

He is asking friends, colleagues and members of the public to join him in his monthly exercise.

If you’d like to help Jon in his quest to raise as much money as possible for people with their mental health, you can here. 


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