Run and Talk
"The #RunAndTalk programme has been created with the aim of improving mental health through running in England. supported by Mind, the mental health charity, we want to:
get people talking about mental health, sharing their experiences and removing stigma
provide support and guidance to raise awareness of mental health problems
support people experiencing mental health problems to be physically active through running, whether that is to support them in starting, returning to or continuing to run."
#RunAndTalk in Swinley Forest, Berkshire.
Our RunandTalk sessions comprise of an an easy paced run of up to 5km through the beautiful and serene Swinley forest led by our RunandTalk Champions, many of whom have some understanding or experience of mental illness. The runs will take place on selected Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, and start at 7:00pm at the Lookout in Swinley Forest. Please visit our booking page to see the exact dates and times - HERE
What we offer:
1. A chance to talk with other like minded individuals whilst you run off your anxieties and worries, in a space free from the complications of modern life (the forest).
2. An uplift to your mood and more clarity of mind - Running releases Dopamine, the feel good hormone. It is also known as the runners high!
1. We will run at a pace suitable to ALL, no one is ever left behind.
2. We are there to listen but not qualified to advise.
3. We will never share any details of you or conversation outside of the forest or group.
4. To always be friendly, fun and relaxed.
Unfortunately none of us are qualified to offer advice. Please follow the links to the major charities below if you need urgent help.
The #RunAndTalk team: As runners most of us have discovered how good running makes us feel, it is why we do it. During a run the mind clears making seemingly difficult issues much easier, and post run you get a huge sense of euphoria known colloquially as "the runners high". However the hardest step when you are feeling down is just getting out there, but once you do you will know why.
Run and Talk Coordinator
I’m Rochelle, and I’ve been running and training for a very long time!
Over the years, and particularly since I started trail running 5 years ago, I’ve listened to conversations amongst runners about how running on trails and being outside just ‘puts them in a good place, energises them, clears their head, and make new friends’. I’d agree! I can get quite anxious for many reasons. I found that when I take myself outside, run with the friends I’ve made, (or walk when necessary) and simply talk…I’m a much less anxious person. Everything doesn’t seem so
When I found out about the RunAndTalk program, I wanted to help support it, as I know the benefits first hand.
Run and Talk Champion
I started experiencing the symptoms of severe anxiety when I was in my early twenties. I was in a high pressure advertising job and was having trouble in a number of areas in my personal life. I always thought of myself as tough and resilient and never expected to be caught in the throes of major debilitating panic attacks that seemed to come out of nowhere and flaw me. I then started worrying I'd have an attack which bought on more episodes and so the spiralling cycle started. I became terrified of going out in case I experienced an attack and became more and more isolated.
Eventually, on seeing a doctor he suggested I was depressed and suggested prozac. I had never been one for prescription drugs and went to seek out alternative solutions. Exercise was on the top of the list and I took up running and never looked back. It has been my saviour and my solace and I turn to it whenever I need to feel better.
Signing up to help with run and talk will hopefully afford me the opportunity to help others find a better place through running.
Run and Talk Champion
My name is Annie Thompson and I have been with Berkshire Trail Runners since 2017 and can honestly say that trail running has become a big part of my life now. Prior to joining the group I was always motivated to take part in a variety of sports such as cycling, road running, body pump and general fitness classes at the gym but always though that a 'running club' was out of my league. Having been part of the Berkshire Trail Runners for the past two years I now realise that there is no such thing, we all have different skills and abilities and that is what makes us unique as individuals and as a group.
I am a mum to three grown up children and have been a single parent for many years so fully appreciate that life is full of challenges along the journey and it doesn't always go to plan. My background is in Youth Offending,Social Work, Education and mental health so have always worked within early intervention and pastoral support. On a personal and professional level I know how vital it is that we must all take some time and care for ourselves, however in our busy lives we can sometimes forget to do that.
Maintaining good mental health is at the core of our wellbeing but things can sometimes become unbalanced and exercise is a really good way of getting that balance back while having some fun and company along the way. Getting started or returning to exercise can be quite frightening and I remember after having my children that I lost my confidence and identity and realised it was becoming isolated. I needed a great deal of encouragement to go out and talk to other people, so please do join us out on the trails in the fantastic surroundings of Swinley Forest - it has certainly become a happy place for me and it would be great to have your company on the trails.
Run and Talk Champion
My name is Fiona, and I am passionate about sport and exercise and play a number of different sports including football, badminton, and started trail running in 2017.
I got involved with Run Talk for a number of reasons, one of which is that I use to suffer severely with anxiety. Worrying excessively and irrationally and to be honest sport has always been my saviour, both in terms of a sense of achievement, making new friends and the rush of endorphins that you get from playing sport.
Run talk is a great way to get fit for the body and mind and make new friends
Run and Talk Champion
Hi I’m Lou. I’ve been running with Berkshire Trail Runners since 2017. I have always been quite sporty having been a competitive swimmer when I was younger. However, over the (many) years since then I have been gradually getting into running and once I found trail running there was no turning back! I decided to get involved with the Run & Talk initiative as I have found running with BTR to be incredibly beneficial to my own mental health.
I am by no means an accomplished runner, having only completed a few trail events up to half marathon distance. Whilst partaking and achieving in events is no doubt a great boost, for me, the real appeal of trail running is the magic combination of exercise, friendly company and the
connection with nature. And I can feel the benefit whether I run 20km or just 3.
I am really looking forward to introducing others to the trails and supporting them on their journey to find what works for them. Hopefully I will Run & Talk with you soon!
If you need help or just someone to talk to remember the charities below are always there to help you....