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‘Walking the black dog’ to smash depression taboo
Added: 27th Feb 2018

A determined artist is preparing for the challenge of a lifetime as she walks the ‘black dog’ the length of Britain.

Jules Forth, from Sydney, will start the trek from Land’s End to John o’Groats in March to raise money for SANE’s Black Dog Campaign and the Black Dog Institute in Australia.

She’s taking on the 900–mile route to encourage people to talk about mental ill-health, having experienced depression and many “dark days” over the years.

The challenge kicks off on Thursday, 1st March, and Jules, who has exhibited her paintings and portraits across Australia, will be posting daily drawings, photos and musings on her blog during the hike.

Jules says: “Like many, many other people I have had depression. There have been some dark days over the years. And like others, I have chucked all sorts of things at the condition in an attempt banish it: meds; therapy; meditation; and exercise.

“Between them both Black Dog charities do wonderful research and therapy. They also do much to raise awareness of mental health issues and do so much to help smash the taboo of talking about depression.

“By doing the walk I want to raise funds to help them continue their great work and also raise very real awareness that exercise, even walking, is a fine way to take control of the black dog and feel better.”

Jules will be following national trails, coastal paths, canals, and loch and lake shores between Land’s End and John o’Groats to capture the beauty of the English and Scottish countryside in her drawings, which she will then sell. She estimates the challenge will take her around 95 days to complete.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of SANE, says: “It’s wonderful what Jules is doing to raise awareness and encourage others to seek help, bringing together our own Black Dog Campaign and the work of the Black Dog Institute in Australia. We are grateful to the contribution she will be making to our work.”

You can follow Jules’ challenge here.

You can donate to SANE here.

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