On 10 May 2021, actor and TV personality Ryan Thomas will begin to walk the equivalent of 10 marathons; 262 miles, in 10 days. Timed to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, Ryan is doing the challenge to raise money and bring awareness for mental health and suicide prevention charity, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). His journey will stretch from Buckingham Palace to Manchester Cathedral passing through Harefield, Tring, Wolverton, Welton, Coventry, East Litchfield, Stafford, Congleton and Stockport.
Deeply moved by the shocking statistics on male suicide and having a distinct awareness of the tremendous impact COVID-19 has had on the mental health landscape of the UK, Ryan felt hugely compelled to mobilise change. With over 1.5 million social media followers, Ryan recognises his platform poses a unique opportunity to bring much-needed focus to the devastating reality so many are facing. Through this challenge, Ryan aims to raise the profile of mental health experts and CALM, whilst fundraising to help aid their great work.
CALM is leading the movement against suicide. With the ONS reporting 125 people in the UK take their own lives every week and 75% of all UK suicides are male, CALM’s frontline services and national campaigns aim to combat this while striving for a more hopeful society. In 2020, CALM directly prevented 564 suicides and have revealed their helpline staff answer a call or webchat from someone needing support every 66 seconds. Ryan has chosen to work with CALM through his recognition of their vital and necessary work.
Ryan Thomas comments: ‘This challenge feels like one of the most important things I will do in my life. If this saves just one person or leads to one of my followers seeking help or asking if one of their friends is okay, it will be worth it. CALM is such a vital organisation – it’s an honour to be working with them and I am so grateful and inspired by their dedication to helping people who feel helpless. With COVID-19 having had such a devastating impact on mental health, there’s no better time than now to tackle the tragedy of the statistics. I want to thank everyone for their support, I can’t express how much it means to me and the CALM team. I’ll see you out on the road, with my walking shoes, blisters and all!’
Visit Ryan’s JustGiving page to donate.