Louise Bate

Hi, I'm Louise, on April 22, 2018, I'll be running the Virgin London Marathon, supporting two amazing charities within the Heads Together Campaign, Best Beginnings and CALM. I would love your support in achieving a lifetime goal, whether that be with your pennies, training buddy or motivational running music choices. Funds raised will be gratefully received and split equally between Best Beginnings and CALM.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably CALM, is dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. They provide immediate support for men in crisis and are striving to change culture and attitudes, so that fewer men get to that point. Within my family and friends, we currently have loved ones suffering with mental health issues and I am running this marathon thinking of them. As they take one day at a time, I will run, one step at a time and hold close in my heart all those that support people with a mental illness, their support is vital but can often be a painful thankless role.

On a personal level, my connection with Best Beginnings promoting mental and physical good health whilst pregnant and beyond, inviting the best start in life for baby, is just the most perfect fit for me and I feel honoured to run the Virgin London Marathon for Best Beginnings. As a mum of 4, I was lucky and had 4 great beginnings with my babies but on my new career path to become a Doula, I have seen others that haven't been so fortunate, struggling with their mental health issues and feeling desperate.

Best Beginnings was chosen to be part of the ‪#‎HeadsTogether‬ campaign because of the support and information we offer through our projects and resources, including our free Baby Buddy app created to support women to keep mentally and physically healthy during pregnancy and beyond.‬

Seven out of 10 women will hide or underplay the severity of their perinatal mental health illness and so they will not receive the help and support they need. This can have devastating consequences. Tragically, suicide is the leading cause of death during pregnancy and the year after birth.

Two in 10 women will develop a mental health illness during pregnancy and the year after birth. Yet, not all of these women will receive the support they require.

We are working to change this by influencing policy, working with and training healthcare professionals and community champions, providing free resources to parents including Baby Buddy, raising awareness and funds and ending the stigma. You can find out more about our maternal mental health work and resources.

Best Beginnings has filmed parents and professional sharing their experiences in more than 300 short videos about how to stay mentally and physically healthy, what to expect, when to be concerned and what to do, which are available in our award-winning free Baby Buddy app. Baby buddy is encouraging thousands of families across the country to talk about how they feel and the Duchess of Cambridge is helping to spread the word.

Louise Bate