James Hadley-Piggin

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About James Hadley-Piggin

The Covid 19 pandemic has had a major impact on all our lives and wellbeing over the last two years. An alarming statistic found that two thirds of adults and over two thirds of young people have reported that their mental health has become worse since the pandemic hit. Furthermore, research suggests that rate of people having suicidal thoughts increased from 8% to 13% over the course of the pandemic.

However, I am raising money for Mind to help support the amazing work they do in the UK and Jersey and raise awareness of mental illness and the impact it has on those experiencing it and their affected loved ones. Yet, my story behind this is a personal one as I have been affected by mental illness over the last several years.

As some people may know, a very close member of my family was diagnosed with psychotic depression in February 2017 and unfortunately, life hasn't been the same since. Over the last five years, we as a family, have seen how psychotic depression has made this loved one a very different person to the individual she once was. From trips to mental health hospitals, physically preventing a suicide attempt to simply caring for our family member, we have had to adapt in ways we never could have imagined. On an even more personal level, I have been in relationships with people who have been suffering from a plethora of conditions including Borderline Personality Disorder, anxiety and depression which in turn, has led to further suicide preventions and subsequently, a decline in my own mental health.

Now, this story isn't a sympathy plea, more as a way of making a stand and doing something about mental illness. There is a stigma that mental illness is a 'hidden' disability, since we can't physically see someone with a broken limb or such like. This is not the case. Just because it's not visibly staring us in the face, that does not mean that one's mental health should be overlooked. 

This May, I will be running the Belfast marathon for the first time; it is an exciting and scary feeling but it will be so worth it. There's a difference between doing something for the sake of doing it and taking part in something to have a positive impact. The motivation behind my marathon is certainly the latter. The process of training for a marathon is roughly four months yet those suffering from long term mental health conditions, their condition can be with them for life, a sobering thought worth thinking about.

There is absolutely no obligation to donate but if, after reading this, you feel inclined, I would be incredibly grateful. Funds will be split between Mind UK and Mind Jersey in order to support as many people as possible. If anyone wants to discuss my story, feel free to get in touch. 

Thank you so much for your support.

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