Positive view of mental health

Jim McClung and his daughter Margaret Dunlop
Jim McClung and his daughter Margaret Dunlop

Nurse Margaret Dunlop is evidence of the positive impact the national See Me campaign can make to individuals.

Margaret, 31, was encouraged to speak out about her anxiety and eating disorder and seek help after her father Jim McClung from Dalrymple decided to run 1000 miles to tackle the stigma around mental health.

Three years ago Jim and Margaret met up for the first time in 27 years after family circumstances kept them apart, and Jim realised she was struggling and encouraged her to get help.

With his 50th birthday coming up Jim decided to run 1000 miles to raise awareness of the issue, while fundraising for mental health programme See Me.

Margaret joined him, and in the last 12 months Jim and Margaret have travelled the length and breadth of Britain together taking part in marathons, half marathons and 10ks in Glasgow, Loch Ness, Sheffield, Sussex and more.

In between that Jim has been running daily to clock up the miles.

The runs brought the pair closer together and for the first time Margaret now feels confident in speaking to people around her about how she is feeling. She has even had people who have been through similar things reach out to her online.

Margaret said: “People have been really supportive since they found out about my illness and it gives me the confidence to speak to people when I’m not feeling great.

“It’s definitely helped me. I know who to speak to now about how I’m feeling. I’ve also had people speak to me about how they suffered with depression and other mental health issues and ask my advice and where to get help.

“But it’s good to be able to speak to people who have had similar experiences, and they have also suffered with stigma and been through that like me.

“People often wonder why I focus on running so much but it has helped my recovery. I am taking part in the London Marathon this year and the training so far has helped alleviate some of my anxiety symptoms.”

Machine operator Jim completed his challenge on December 22, the day of his 50th birthday, and last week he handed over the £450 he raised for See Me, and he is determined to carry on speaking about mental health.

He said: “The runs have been amazing. It’s been a good journey. I’m really happy I’ve done it.”