Run Talk Run exists to make both running and mental health support less intimidating, and more accessible.
So many of us suffer some kind of 'imposter syndrome' when it comes to our mental health, which can make it tricky to seek support.
You might have a feeling that you need somewhere to talk, but you don’t necessarily want to go to a GP or a therapist.
We think that peer support and community can help, and running does a rather lovely job at facilitating those conversations for us. There are so many reasons why running makes it easier to open up.
HOW IT WORKS
Run Talk Run is a weekly 5km gentle jog. Before every run there is a window of time to meet the other runners and say hello to the run leader. It's alright if you're a little anxious and quiet - we all 'get it' at Run Talk Run. The leader then explains the logistics of the route (reminding the group that the run is gentle and that there is no pressure to "keep up"), and that at the forefront of our runs is support... this really is a safe space to talk about how you're really doing.
Run Talk Run was born in October 2017, when our founder Jess Robson was in a very dark place with her depression. Finding London an overwhelming place to be during this time, she ended up at her parents’ in East Sussex most weekends in an attempt to escape the pressure that came with feeling like she needed to "keep up" whilst simultaneously battling dark thoughts, daily tears, and a severe lack of motivation.
Running was an outlet for Jess, and she discovered she found it easier to open up while in the outdoors... more so, than when she was sitting inside with her therapist!
And so the penny dropped. We need to make "being honest" about our mental health far less intimidating. We need to normalise the conversation, and so the first run was arranged.
It took months of "no shows" and very slow traction to get Run Talk Run moving (pun intended). There were plenty of runs that Jess would show up to, waiting in the cold outside Monument Station and ending up running alone.
However, with Spring time and a new bag drop location, the momentum started to build and there was soon a consistent small throb of 4-5 runners attending the runs every Thursday evening.
The first run set up outside of London was led by Jen, in Peterborough. This was the catalyst for other community champions up and down the UK (and, now, all over the world) to begin their own Run Talk Runs, too.
Now we are a global community of mental health warriors, all supporting each other, running with each other, and reminding each other that it truly is ok to not be ok. Like this!