MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGNER BRINGS ‘THE HAPPIEST 5K ON THE PLANET’ TO CO TIPPERARY
A Tipperary woman who has experienced severe depression and come out the other side is kick starting a campaign to encourage mental health discussion by organising what’s been dubbed ‘The Happiest 5k on the Planet’ near her home next month. Ciara McCullough, from Ballinahinch, Tipperary, is hosting a Colour Run in her local village of Newport on Sunday May 25th when hundreds of runners will be doused from head to toe in paint celebrate healthiness, happiness and individuality.
Less about your 10 minute mile and more about having the time of your life, The Colour Run is a five kilometre, un-timed race in which participants, or “Colour Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometre. With only two rules, the idea is easy to follow:-Wear white at the starting line and finish plastered in colour!
The event is being organised by Ciara McCullough to spark open discussion of mental health and break the silence of stigma as part of the National Green Ribbon campaign.
“For people who have never experienced depression, there are no words imaginable to describe exactly what it does you, but for people who are and who have experienced it, no words are needed,” Ciara explained. “It wore me down, mentally, physically and emotionally to a point where I didn’t know who I was. My recovery was a slow road of progression that didn’t happen overnight but now my life has never been better. I’m really excited about the Colour Run to raise awareness about Mental Health and raise funds for Pieta House, a suicide and self harm crisis centre that does tremendous work. “
She added: “More and more people need to start talking and learning about Mental Health. The more we talk about it, the less scary it becomes and people who are going through a mental health problem will feel much more comfortable in talking about their feelings.”
As well as the Colour Run in Newport, Co Tipperary at 3pm on Sunday, May 25th, there will also be free workshops from Laughter Yoga, Reiki on the morning of the event, followed by live music from One Simple Work & Pat Wright with Acoustra to end a super positive day.
Ciara is actively involved in an organisation called See Change is an alliance of organisations working together through the National Stigma Reduction Partnership to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems. This May, See Change and its 90 partner organisations are rolling out a major national campaign get people talking openly about mental health problems. Throughout May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, 300,000 ribbons will be distributed nationwide free of charge and in conjunction with various community events with the aim of sparking a national conversation about mental health in Ireland’s boardrooms, break-rooms, chat rooms, clubhouses, arts venues, college campuses and around kitchen tables.
John Saunders, Director of See Change said; “Wearing the green ribbon during the month of May is a simple way of showing your support for the campaign and leaving the door open for a conversation about mental health. You don’t need be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers, sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is let someone know you are there for them and simply listen.”
Just like the pink ribbon became a powerful symbol for breast cancer awareness, this lime green ribbon has been established in North America as the international symbol for Mental Health awareness. The See Change partnership aims to make the month of May every year synonymous with challenging the stigma of mental health problems and lay groundwork for real and lasting change in Irish attitudes and behaviours towards mental health.
Registration for the Newport Colour Run is 10Euro- online at www.eventbrite.ie or €15 on the day.