On World Mental Health Day Saturday 10th October two local lads completed the Carry that Weight Challenge in the hope of raising awareness on the issues of suicide in the Liverpool area.
Brian Lightbody and Paul Growney set off from Southport Beach Marine car park at 6am, each carrying weighted vests and rucksacks weighting approximately 39kg each. The 39kg symbolising the 39 lives lost to suicide in Liverpool in 2019 and also symbolising the heavy burden people have to carry when managing with mental health alone.
With kind sponsorship they have raised over £1400.00 in the aid of a new social enterprise Lightbody Health CIC to develop walk and talk groups for people with mental health problems across the city.
They walked a full marathon of 26.3 mile distance, travelling through Southport, Formby, Crosby, Dock Road, Waterloo, Albert Dock, Otterspool and ending their gruelling feat at Liverpool Sports club on Aigburth Road.
Brian Lightbody said ‘As someone who has been in the fitness profession all my life, this was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. That constant pressure, the pain, the bad weather was a nightmare. It was great to have people supporting us along the way beeping their horns, giving us a wave etc. All in all I hope this can help further offer some support for people suffering and encourage them to share their weight of their mental health struggles’
Paul Growney said ‘It was a real struggle, about 20km in my hip and shoulder gave way with the weight. Which led to a face plant in a farmer’s field, one of the more humorous points of the day. This led to me having to lessen my load which again was symbolic being that you can’t carry the full weight of mental health alone you need to share that weight and open up to other people. Massively proud to be part of something raising awareness on such a vital issue. 1 suicide is too many and if this can help reduce by 1 then it’s done its job’
The team aim for this to become an annual event with more walkers carrying the weight for mental health but they say next team the distance will be altered / weight for injury prevention.