Man to run 465km in month to help people take ‘small steps’ to aid mental health

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A man who is to run in one kilometre increments each day over the course of November hopes to encourage people to “take the small steps to talk about how you’re feeling”.

Anil Toraty, 38, has taken part in Movember this year – an annual event during November which aims to raise awareness of men’s health issues, including mental health.

He is to run for 30 consecutive days across November in one kilometre increments, starting with 1km on the first day of the month and ending with 30km on the last day – which equates to 465km in total – to “represent we can only keep going so long on our own before we need help”, spurred on by his personal struggles with his mental health.

Man running
Mr Toraty said he hopes his challenge will encourage others to make “small steps” in terms of talking about their feelings (Thomas Chambers/PA)

“I do feel like I’ve taken on just so much through the year – I had a pretty traumatic breakdown in my relationship and a pretty intense work schedule and had health problems because of Covid and bronchitis,” he said.

“I was taking everything in my stride and not getting any help – and I think a lot of people do that unknowingly.”

Man running
Anil Toraty is to run 465km in November (Thomas Chambers/PA)

“You might be able to do it up until day five, but then it becomes something you cannot keep doing for a long time and you start to feel the physical build-up.”

He said that he expects to be “completely exhausted” by the time he gets to day 30, which will represent that he – as well as others who may be struggling with their mental health – could have sought help in the form of physical therapy earlier.

“You don’t have to wait until you’re completely at the point of a breakdown,” he added.

He added that he wanted to do a running challenge as it allows him to clear his head and gives him the time to think and process his feelings.

“When I run, I can feel that my body calms down, my breathing kind of regulates, and that sense of relief gives me the confidence to work through my anxiety.”

The 38-year-old, who said that he is still battling with his mental health but has learned to live with it, added that he has only recently felt comfortable enough to speak more openly about his mental health with friends.

“I now realise that there is nothing wrong with feeling depressed or suffering with your mental health, there’s nothing wrong with me.”

“The message I hope people take away from this challenge is to take the small steps to talk about how you’re feeling.

“Sparking conversations was really important to me and it’s not only to create conversations for people that are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, but I think it’s also important for family and friends who are supporting those struggling to have these conversations as well.”

More information about Mr Toraty’s challenge can be found here:

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