I'm a runner, so why am I talking about mental health?

A few years ago, while acting as a Mental Health Ambassador for England Athletics, I wrote an article on mental health. At the time, I felt poor mental health was largely regarded in the running community as something that "others" suffered from and wanted to raise awareness of what it means and how easily the lure of fast race times and "healthy" eating can drop any of us deep into the depths of a mental illness. Times have certainly moved on and, with the help of various campaigns on social media such as #runandtalk by England Athletics and star athletes speaking out, there is certainly more awareness. The thing is, as with all things that take time to settle into the national pysche, I feel as if mental health has become so normalised that what really amounts to mental illness has somehow become lost in all the #hashtag trends. If this is you and you feel like you have been lost in all this, please don't ignore that nagging feeling you really need to address it. You deserve it.

Characteristics of eating disorders versus disordered eating in elite athletes (from The IOC Consensus Statement on Mental Health in Elite Sport).

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