A Leicester author has opened up about a break down he suffered in the late 90s, as he takes on three 5km barefoot walks around the city this week to raise awareness of mental health.
Stewart Bint is taking on the challenge during this years’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9-15), raising awareness of the positive effects of physical exercise on mental health, and also money for Lamp (Leicestershire Action for Mental Health Project).
On Monday (May 9), he completed a 5k walk from the Rocket Tower at the National Space Centre, and today he is set to complete another from the University of Leicester’s Botanic Garden.
On Saturday (May 14), he will walk from Clarendon Park to Everards Meadow for the cause.
On top of the physical challenge, Stewart will face the added one of not knowing the full routes of his walks.
As a keen walker and advocate of good mental health, he is using the Lamp 5k challenge as a metaphor for (mental health) advocacy.
“The fact that I’ll be barefoot and don’t know where the journey’s taking me, symbolises the vulnerability and uncertainty we face on our mental health journeys; while being with other people on a Lamp event represents how we work together to support each other as individuals, and help received through advocacy”, he said.
This is Stewart’s second attempt at the Lamp 5k challenge. Last year, he completed two 5km routes across fields, bridleways, gravel paths and urban streets, in bare feet.
“I’m honoured to support Lamp’s Trip To The Moon in this way, as I’ve been passionate about mental health after suffering a crisis in 1997, which led to me being hospitalised for 10 weeks,” revealed the sci-fi author, who is currently working on his sixth book.
Lamp is encouraging everyone to take part in a 5k or more physical activity such as walking, running, cycling or roller-skating, to collectively reach 384,400km – the distance from the Earth to the moon, and raise money for each kilometre covered, aiming for a total of £38,440. The funds will go towards supporting the charity’s services.
To find out more about Lamp’s 2022 5k Trip to the Moon challenge and to see how you can take part, visit www.lampadvocacy.co.uk/lamp5k
People can sponsor Stewart at www.justgiving.com/StewartBint