A woman who found solace in running after suffering a mental health crisis is preparing to tackle 2 marathons to raise money for the charity MIND.

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Lynsey Kelly suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe anxiety after the vehicle she was travelling in was involved in a fatal road accident 7 years ago - and at her lowest point she even tried to take her own life.

Now, thanks to the support of mental health professionals and family and friends, she has made a full recovery - and is preparing to tackle the London Marathon on Sunday 22 April and the Chicago Marathon on Sunday 7 October to raise money for MIND, the mental health charity.

In 2011, not long after her father had passed away, Lynsey travelled to Tanzania to help raise money for charity. Sadly, during the trip the jeep her and 5 other companions were travelling in crashed, resulting in serious injuries and one fatality.

Lynsey, a Community Safety Manager with the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, said: "When I returned to the UK I found it difficult to understand what had happened - and why I had survived when someone else didn't.

"I felt guilty and questioned myself constantly. I found my life challenging and began to struggle, but perhaps didn't realise this at the time.

"I became very insular and stopped socialising. I was quiet and withdrawn, my marriage broke down, I didn't believe that I could be a wife any longer and I stopped working. My only escape was running... running and more running.

"After several months of feeling like this I tried to take my own life, but luckily my mum found me and saved me. She and my ex-husband stubbornly refused to let me be discharged from hospital until I had been seen by its crisis team so that I could get the support I needed, and I am so glad they did.

"I was referred to a psychiatrist for support and diagnosed with PTSD and severe anxiety. I then began to piece my life back together and after 2 years of counselling and medication, I can stand proud of how far I have come and can say that I am 'normal' again - all be it a changed normal. I can now manage my anxieties and I see life very differently, but I'm happy once more."

The 39 year old from Stafford added: "The sad thing about what happened to me was that no one apart from my close family noticed or understood - because there wasn't anything physically and visibly wrong with me people assumed I was fine, and the pressure it put on those people who looked after me and supported me was completely under estimated.

"Looking after a loved one with mental health issues is an extremely challenging job, and can impact on their life almost as much as the person they are caring for.

"Mental health needs to be better understood, accepted and talked about, and for charities to do this they need funding - and that is why I am aimed to raise at least £3,000 for MIND by taking part in these two marathons."

To sponsor Lynsey, please visit her Just Giving page at Type=links;Linkid=10271;Title=Lynsey's Marathon Journey;Target=_blank;.

MIND provides advice and support to people experiencing a mental health problem, and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health. For more information, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7166;Title=Mind;Target=_blank;.  

There is a comprehensive list of local and national mental health services and support available via the Type=links;Linkid=8150;Title=Wolverhampton Information Network;Target=_blank; via Type=links;Linkid=10272;Title=Search Results;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Wednesday 4 April, 2018