A Tipperary woman who has experienced severe depression and come out the other side is kick starting a campaign to encourage mental health discussion by organising what’s been dubbed The Happiest 5k on the Planet near her home next month.
Ciara McCullough, from Ballinahinch, is hosting a Colour Run in Newport on Sunday, May 25, when hundreds of runners will be doused from head to toe in paint to celebrate healthiness, happiness and individuality.
The Colour Run is an untimed race in which participants, or “Colour Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometre.
The event is being organised by Ciara to spark open discussion of mental health and break the silence of stigma as part of the National Green Ribbon campaign.
“For people who have never experienced depression, there are no words imaginable to describe exactly what it does to you, but for people who are and who have experienced it, no words are needed,” Ciara explained. “It wore me down, mentally, physically and emotionally to a point where I didn’t know who I was.
“My recovery was a slow road of progression that didn’t happen overnight but now my life has never been better. I’m really excited about the Colour Run to raise awareness about mental health and raise funds for Pieta House, a suicide and self-harm crisis centre that does tremendous work,” she said
As well as the run, which starts at 3pm, there will also be free workshops from Laughter Yoga to Reiki, followed by live music. Ciara is involved in the organisation, See Change, an alliance of organisations working together through the National Stigma Reduction Partnership to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems.
Registration is €10 online at www.eventbrite.ie or €15 on the day.