Hi everyone! I am trying to fundraise $500 to help R U OK? whilst running my first ever half marathon! Actually, this is my first race and first proper goal I’ve ever set! The reason I have chosen to support R U OK? is close to my heart. Depression should be talked about. Back in 2012 (I was 22) when I was diagnosed with depression, I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it, even my family. There was such a stigma attached to mental health, and social media wasn’t what it is today with everyone being so open about these things. I used self harm as a coping mechanism to “let the pain out”, cried myself to sleep every night, stayed in an abusive relationship because I didn’t feel worthy of leaving and kept skipping out of therapy because I felt embarrassed to even talk to my psychotherapist. I wish that back then there was more of a presence and that R U OK? was around! R U OK? is a suicide prevention charity that encourages conversation between loved ones, friends and family, strangers.. to check in and take note of what’s going on. If someone you know feels a little off to you, ask them if they’re really okay. I’ve set this goal to run the half marathon because exercise is the best thing that helps with my mood, and the one thing that got me out of my depression a couple of years later. I’ve never had a goal before and could only run about 1km earlier this year so this is a big goal that I will be really proud to achieve. The donation can be as little as $1, or as much as you can afford. It all adds up and will go a long way to helping me reach my target. Thank you, I really appreciate your support. Jess.