Published on: 11 February 2019

Time to Talk Day on Thursday 7 February was marked across Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Rain and mud could not deter keen walkers and runners who celebrated the day with an inclusive RunandTalk event at Derby’s Markeaton Park. 

And many Trust staff used the day to make pledges about how they would fight issues around mental ill health. 

As many as 40 people took part in the Markeaton Park event, completing a three-mile run, a 2.5-mile run/walk or a 1.5-mile walk. The event was organised by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust with the bRUNch Club, which stages a weekly Thursday morning off-road run in Derbyshire. The event was supported by Jog Derbyshire & Derbyshire Mind. 

The event on Thursday 7 February coincided with the national Time to Change campaign’s Time to Talk Day, which this year was all about bringing together the ‘right ingredients’ to have a conversation about mental health.   

The Markeaton Park event was led by qualified running coaches and run/jog leaders and aimed to give those taking part the chance to talk to others as they ran or walked, fitting in with the message of Time to Talk Day.  

One runner commented: “I love to run as I find it benefits me in terms of how I feel. I am always glad to have gone for a run.” 

Another said: “I have enjoyed this event as it was really inclusive. The faster runners would stop from time to time to allow everyone to catch up so we were all running together.” 

Coffee and cake were on offer afterwards, along with the chance to listen to inspiring speakers, including ultra runner Alice Amaris, and Helen Treece, jog leader with Jog Derbyshire. The hope is that the event will encourage others to consider running and walking to benefit their mental as well as physical health, and to take advantage of the many running groups in the Derby area.  

The Trust also set up a Pledge Wall in the Ashbourne Centre, Kingsway Hospital, Derby, where staff have posted pledges about how they will influence the stigma of mental health as well as promising to have at least one meaningful conversation about mental health with friends or family on Time to Talk Day. Colleagues at other sites across the Trust were encouraged to send their pledges through to be featured on the Pledge Wall.