Running for Mental Health

Running for Mental Health

Q&A session with Hugh Hardie

As part of FPSGs Corporate Social Responibility plan, Hugh Hardie has decided to raise money and awareness for mental health in the month of January 2021. He has challenged himself to run 10km every day for a total of 310km in the whole month! He is updating his JustGiving page on a daily basis so people can view the routes he is taking. All money and proceeds are being donated to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Nearing the mid-point of the month, we sat down with Hugh and asked him a couple of questions regarding this challenge.

What drove you to do this?

A myriad of reasons, conversations with professionals and friends throughout 2020 amplifying how difficult we were all being affected and the passing of an old friend so I wanted to do something to support in raising awareness for mental health.   

Why did you choose SAMH?

SAMH are amazing, they have been there for people close in my life and it all started with one phone call. It goes without saying of course all charities are amazing, but SAMH is one I felt more of a personal connection towards.

How is it going so far?

It was a tough start with an ice slip resulting in a knee injury on the 3rd day, I’m managing to shake it off so it is going really well. Hardest part has been the early morning runs and slowing down as it is a 31 day challenge, I’m fortunate to have some great local landmarks and routes which helps especially on those cold 5:45am morning runs!   

Did you do any training to prepare you for this?

Not specifically however I’m generally quite active (exercise 3-5 times a week) so have benefitted from that.  

Did you need any special equipment to run in the ice and snow?

A good pair of winter running trainers in hindsight would have been best but I anticipated January being more wind/rain than anything so have been using my normal running trainers. Admittedly they don’t offer the same level of grip but I just have to shorten my running stride or I’d spend more time on the ground than anything!

What was the response from people?

The response has been fantastic from close friends and family to professionals within my network on LinkedIn messaging their support.

Would you ever do this again?

Most definitely, mental health is a cause I am passionate about and I want to set myself another challenge for later in 2021 to continue with support and raising awareness. I have a rough plan of mixing it, possibly along the lines of 7 half marathons in a month (will need to work out a quick recovery plan though!).

How can I donate?

If you would like to donate, head to my JustGiving page here:

SAMH work with adults and young people in over 60 communities providing mental health social care support, services in primary care, schools and further education, among others.  These services together with their national programme work in See Me, respectme, suicide prevention and active living; inform their policy and campaign work to influence positive social change.

If you would like to know more about SAMH, or would like to get in touch with someone regarding your mental health or that of someone you know, get in touch with them here or by calling their helpline 0344 800 0550