A FORMER student of Arrow Vale High School is walking 27 miles this Sunday, August 22, start the ball rolling on his campaign of tackling the stigma attached to mental health issues.
Tom Hill, now 25, works as a web designer with online retailer Wiggle.co.uk and will be walking from Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower to Winchester Cathedral, where both King Alfred the Great and King Cnut are buried.
But it’s the modern day issue of mental health that’s driving Tom and he’s hoping to raise £5,000 to turn tyvéCARE, a registered business, into a registered charity actively involved in the promotion and teaching of mental health.
“I am asking 5,000 people to donate £1,” said Tom, who is also building an app to help people with mental health issues.
“I hate asking for money, but I hate the current suicide rate more.
“I hate asking for money, but mental health needs to be treated the same way as physical health.”
Tom plans to live stream his walk and video call mental advocates, experts, trainers and others to keep his legs moving and to teach others how best to handle low moods, and why good mental health is important.
“I have seen first hand the stigma mental health carries,” said Tom.
“I have had some lows and highs and I want to tell people that it is okay to go through these.
“Creating a daily conversation around mental health is important. physical health and mental health aren’t treated in the same light. I want to keep pointing out that both are as important as the other.”
Tom is also planning a 24 hour non-stop gaming and talking marathon and a mental health awareness day.
The aim is to be in a position to offer free mental health advice for those in need including a ‘worried about someone’ service.
To support him, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/tyvcare-the-five-thousand .