Mental Health Awareness Week

“A person with health has 1,000 dreams. A person without it has 1: to recover.”[1]

This week (13 to 19 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK's national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health. This is the perfect opportunity for the Serpie Wellbeing team to let all members know what Serpentine is doing to address mental health. [1]Author unknown

Body Image

This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness week is body image, and how we all feel about our bodies. It is reported that 50% of mental health problems are established before the age of 14, with one in four of us being adversely affected by mental health within our working lives. 

Exercise and Nature 

Studies have shown that exercise, being in nature and being around people all contribute to good mental health and wellbeing; hopefully most of us Serpies will agree with this, even if for most of us city dwellers “nature” is limited to urban parks….and what glorious parks we are so lucky to have in central London which Serpies choose to run around (and around and around and around)!   


It’s also beneficial to be in a club and run with others: friendships are among the most valuable relationships we Serpies (and humans generally) can have. We gain from them in various ways, from having someone to talk to in confidence, to having someone to run, laugh and cry with. Our friends may annoy us every now and then, but they can also keep us going. 

When someone is having health problems, it’s important to keep friendships going, even though the person in distress may feel like seeing their friends less. Friendship can play a key role in helping someone live with, or recover from, a mental health issue and overcome the isolation that often comes with it. It’s natural to worry when someone’s troubled, and however difficult it can be to support, many report their relationships are stronger as a result. 


England Athletics have got on board and in conjunction with MIND, the mental health charity, has launched its #RunAndTalk programme with the aim of improving mental health through running and talking.  

In rolling out this programme, running clubs have appointed mental health ambassadors and champions to promote good mental health, raise awareness of this subject and get people talking about it. To encourage this, some club runs are designated as #RunandTalk runs, where you do what Serpies do anyway: run and talk with someone listening.  

Serpentine is supporting this initiative and every Last Wednesday of the Month club run is a #RunandTalkrun; this will cover both 2 parks and 3 parks. Sid has also turned his Saturday beginners’ run into a #RunandTalk. We have a great team of volunteer mental health ambassadors and champions and we are out there giving anyone a good listening to. 

May’s Last Wednesday run on 29 May will be the next Serpentine #RunandTalk alongside Sid’s Saturday runs. Ambassadors and champions will be introduced before the run and they will be ready to listen to anyone who wants to talk, or they’re happy to do the talking themselves.  

We look forward to seeing many people on 29 May and Saturdays; if you have any queries or would like to speak to one of the mental health ambassadors, please feel free to contact the well being team at

If you would like to see more details about what England Athletics and Serpentine are doing please follow the attached links:

Catkin, Roberto, Fliss and the Wellbeing team


Submitted: 16 May 2019