Guest blog: Emily Clark gets on her bike for Mental Health Awareness Week 2018
Emily Clark, an employee of Wiltshire will be attempting to cycle 879 miles on a static bike outside the front of police HQ in Devizes in aid of Mental Health Awareness Week to raise money for Mind. That's equivalent to cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats. Below she talks about what has inspired her to take up this challenge.
It's likely that unless you've spent some considerable time at Headquarters, you probably won't have met (or heard) me.
I've been employed by Wiltshire Police as a personal assistant for two years; the commencement of my employment here at Wiltshire Police happened at around the same time as my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type 2 - historically known as manic depression.
Throughout the last five years of my life I have had considerable support from a variety of mental health services which is why I've decided to give something back by cycling 879 miles for Mental Health Foundation.
Life is funny at times; whilst training for my cycle ride the other day I got talking to a young woman who was on the bike next to me. We had a lovely chat and upon disclosing my bipolar disorder her face was a picture.
Naturally I worried that this was because she thought it was scary; however it was because she too, has bipolar disorder. We chatted for a good twenty minutes about how our bipolar affects us and the struggles we've been through; it was a lovely chat and as result I powered through the last of the cycle without even thinking about it, clocking up an impressive 17.23 miles (for someone who has the cardiac ability of a walrus, this was a major win!).
Bipolar and mental health as a whole is very individual and no one condition is the same; thus, I can understand why people find it difficult to understand. That is exactly what this challenge is about, though - helping people to understand. Helping people to talk. Helping people to heal.
Even if my challenge helps only one person to talk and understand then I will feel like I have succeeded.