Mental Health Champion

Chairperson Karen Thompson is the clubs Mental Health Champion

Here at BADGERS we are proud to be working with England Athletics and Mind, in their Mental Health Champion programme which aims to establish a network of volunteer champions in running clubs across England to support people who are experiencing mental health problems. Here is Karen to explain what the programme is about.

Karen Thompson

"1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem. I don’t know about anyone else but in my opinion that is a scary statistic. There are many people suffering from mental health problems and the taboo that surrounds it. In 2016 England Athletics launched a Mental Health Champion programme to provide visible support for invisible challenges, supported by the mental health charity Mind. The programme aims to promote good mental health by recruiting and supporting a network of champions in groups and clubs around the country. The champions aim to support people who are experiencing mental health problems to start running, get back into running or continue running as well as to improve the mental well being of the existing members. We’re often told that physical activity is good for our bodies and our minds, but having a mental health problem can make it difficult to get started, for a number of reasons, ranging from negative body image, such as having no one to go with, or not knowing where to get started. For me personally, running is the big difference between a good day and a bad day.

The programme supports #runandtalk by:

  • Getting people talking about mental health, sharing experiences and removing stigma.
  • Raising awareness of mental health problems.
  • Supporting people experiencing mental health problems to start, return to and continue running.

I am incredibly proud to have been accepted as a Mental Health Champion for BADGERS. Our ethos is ‘friendly supportive running for all abilities’ and being a part of the mental health champion programme only strengthens this ethos. I have very personal experiences of mental health which is why when I saw the advert for Mental Health Champions I didn’t hesitate in applying. The smallest gesture can make a huge difference to someone who is suffering from mental health problems. Whether this is a quiet ear to listen, a smile or a hug or simply knowing that there is someone who understands."

If you would like to talk to Karen, please feel free to approach her at training, alternately her contact details can be found on our Contact Us page.

#RunandTalk - BADGERS