Trail runner enthusiast, Stefan Van Neel, will embark on a run, circling the base of Lions Head as many times as possible during a 24-hour period in the name of mental health and raising awareness about this silent crisis.
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Van Neel started running during lockdown, as a means to clear his head and heart of the many depressive thoughts and feelings and quickly fell in love with the sport.
The effects of lockdown during COVID-19 have impacted negatively on many people’s mental health, it also brought to light the need for better mental healthcare in our country. Highlighting the lack of support and resources for people suffering from mental health disorders.
Van Neel realized just how little support was available and wanted to do something that would spread awareness and possibly have a positive impact, which he hopes to accomplish on Saturday.
Van Neel is collaborating with K-Way and the Panda Mental Health App to help provide easy access to the right mental health support.
The details of the event and how you can get involved as a supporter:
- Event: A trail run around the 5.2km base of Lion’s Head as many times as possible during the 24-hour period
- When: Friday, 28 October 4pm to Saturday, 29 October at 4pm
- Venue: Lions Head, Kramat side of the mountain
Everyone is welcome to run a loop or two with Van Neel or show your support by cheering him on while enjoying the sunset or sunrise.
Lockdown has forced the country to pay attention, shift focus and shed much-needed light on mental health – an illness that has been stigmatised for far too long. People are finding liberation and healing in the knowledge that it’s okay to not be okay, the first steps in reclaiming their mental health.
The Panda Mental Health App is a free-to-download mobile app that was developed to make access to mental healthcare easier. Download the app and receive three free one-on-one therapy sessions with a registered counsellor. Promocode: pandacares.
For anyone who wishes to support Van Neel at the end of the event, you may contact him directly at +27 76 187 0107. The event will end at 4pm on Saturday, 29 October at Leeuwenhof – the residence of the Premier of the Western Cape, Allan Winde.
Van Neel completed the Cape Town Trail Marathon in August to raise funds for the Cancer Association of South Africa. He lives by the goal of continuously trying to make a difference.
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Picture: Stefan Van Neel