Fifers urged to join active mental health challenge
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The initiative has been launched by Kirkcaldy businessman, Stephen Barbour, who wants people to sign up to a new Facebook page, Active Against Mental Health Challenge, and do an activity a day for 250 days while also helping to raise money for a mental health charity.
He is looking for people to video themselves doing their chosen activity – that could be a walk, press ups or star jumps – and either post it to the page or, if they don’t want to make it public, to send it to him so he can see how many are taking part.
He believes there is a strong link between keeping active and good mental health, and got the idea up for this venture up and running thanks to the impact of joining latest social media platform.
Stephen said: “I joined TikTok last summer and met some amazing people through it.
“I already had the Active Against Mental Health Challenge page in mind, but what made me do it was a guy who was really funny.
"We chatted about mental health. He helped so many people.”But he added: “A few weeks ago, unfortunately, this man felt the weight of the world on his shoulders and he felt so alone that he left us. It is a tragedy.
"It is very difficult to talk when you are in that dark place, but I want to get the message across no matter how bad you think things are you are never alone."
Another challenge Stephen did last summer – 25 press ups over 25 days - also inspired the new page and led to something unexpected.
He said: “I ended up doing 100 days, 25 press ups each day, but two people who needed to talk and had been struggling with their mental health followed my journey online.
"One was a complete stranger and got to know me by daily interaction through this challenge. Both of them got the help they needed as a result and are in a better place today.
“So I came up with this Facebook page and wanted to do another challenge, a daily exercise activity that people can do each day for 250 days.
"They can choose what it is – a walk or doing star jumps or press ups – and I would like people to video themselves doing it and send it to the page or privately to me.
The challenge started on February 1, but the door is still open to more people getting involved, and Stephen hopes to find a way to raise money for a mental health charity through it.
He added: "It’s a real challenge.
"I want to see an army of people keeping active to raise awareness of mental health, with a focus on men’s mental health, and how good it is to be active.”