The 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and Mental Health

This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon has chosen to support the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign. Heads Together brings together a team of charities, including Best Beginnings, to change the conversation around  mental health and end stigma.

Yesterday, the Royal Highnesses said that the Heads Together Virgin London Marathon runners and others will use this opportunity to get the country talking about mental health.

Jon Salmon, a Heads Together Virgin London Marathon runner, spoke alongside his friend Steve Jackson, of the importance of the power of conversation following his personal journey with mental health.

Jon explained: "I have been lucky enough to have had a really supportive group of friends since my teens. But you know how blokes are, we were never good at talking about our feelings. It was really only after getting ill myself that I learned about the power of conversation and the importance of being able to open up and talk about sometimes very personal and painful feelings - which is never easy to do. The key is feeling safe - knowing that the person listening is not judging. Steve was always a great listener. This is as true in professional therapy as it is in friendship. Anti depressants are sometimes necessary in treating mental illness but cannot work on their own. A talking therapy, like CBT in my case, made all the difference."

Speaking at the briefing, The Duke of Cambridge said:  “It is no exaggeration to say that conversations – simple conversations – can be life-changing: in a workplace, in your kitchen at home, with a friend, family member or colleague. And that's what Catherine, Harry and I want to do – we want more people to be having those conversations.”

Prince Harry added: “Over 500 people will be running for Heads Together, leading from the front (well perhaps not right at the front!), raising funds for the vital services provided by our Charity Partners. These runners will also be leading by example by starting conversations on mental health with their families, friends and colleagues." 

Jon has selected Best Beginnings as his charity of choice for the Virgin London Marathon, you can sponsor him here.