To thank staff for the care she received, and to raise awareness of mental health issues, Anna plans to run 32 miles in an attempt to raise £1,000 – to be split equally between the hospital and mental health charity, Mind.
She’ll start the run outside Parklands Hospital at 7.00am on Wednesday 7 February, encouraging patients, staff and well-wishers to join her for a lap of the park, before heading to RMP Bulford, where she is based.
Anna explains: “I wanted the run to represent the journey I’ve taken over the last few months. It will be physically and mentally challenging but it will show my strength and determination - both attributes you need to overcome, or help someone else overcome, mental illness.”
She added: “Too many people suffer with mental illness and it’s my aim to raise awareness and get people - colleagues, friends and family - talking about mental health. I’ve been on my own journey and, thanks to Parklands Hospital, friends and family, I have bounced back and educated myself. I’ve learnt that it’s OK to talk and seek help when you need it. Indeed, my colleagues have been really supportive and they’re holding a mess function after my run to fund-raise for me.”
Susie Carman, a consultant psychiatrist at Parklands Hospital, commented: “As a team, we’re very touched by Anna’s kind gesture. She has a real passion for fitness and, when she stayed at Parklands, she used the gym regularly and started taking some of our other patients out on runs in the morning. With this in mind, it seems fitting to use any monies raised to encourage future patients to be active whilst in hospital, particularly as there is such a strong link between exercise and good mental health.”
If you’d like to support Anna in her fund-raising efforts, you can visit her JustGiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/anna-stanley-4.