A Wigan family have arranged a fun run next month as part of a campaign to rid the stigma associated with mental health issues and to raise awareness.
With the help of family and friends, Noreen and John Christy from Beech Hill have raised more than £10,000 through tribute rugby matches, fun days, sky diving, half marathon’s and more for local and national mental health charities, all in memory of their son, Nathan Christy, who died by suicide in 2016.
The fun run or walk - being held in Haigh Woodland Park - will take place on Sunday May 6, what would have been Nathan’s 27th birthday.
And the family are urging the public to sign up to either a 1km or 5km route through the park.
Noreen said: “Since Nathan died, we have been very pro-active in raising awareness about mental health.
“We want others to be aware of the importance of talking and are committed to doing what we can to smash the stigma associated with mental health.
“The fun run/walk is our latest charity event to help us raise awareness and is a great way to keep Nathan’s memory alive.
“It feels right to do this on his birthday, which will be the second one we experience without him.”
The entry fee is £3 or £5 depending on the age of the entrant or the route chosen and a portion of this fee will go towards three mental health causes:
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), North West Boroughs Healthcare and Action for Children.
Noreen added: “We’ve already had a lot of people sign up so we’re excited to spread the word further and encourage more people to come along for a morning of family fun.
“Run or walk, it’s up to you!
“It won’t be a timed race and entrants are free to raise money for whatever charity they wish, or they can just take part.
“To add to the day, we’re encouraging fancy dress but this is optional.”
Nathan’s brother Martin and sister Emma will also be running on the day as will Nathan’s nieces, nephews and wider family.
After his death family told how he had often presented himself as a positive and smiling personality and had hidden the troubles he was facing.
The race will begin at 9am with entrants to be in position by 8.30am.
The race will start outside the children’s play area in front of the café and the 5k route will be the same as the weekly park run.
For more information about the event or to sign up, search Start Talking; Stop the Stigma on Facebook.