09:32AM, Friday 06 December 2019
Emma Ankers with her one-year-old son Charlie (Ref:132234-4)
A Windsor mum has invited residents to join her for a stroll on the Long Walk to share their experiences of mental health without fear or judgement.
Emma Ankers, from Bolton Road, Windsor, has teamed up with Mental Health Mates, a volunteer organisation which runs regular walks.
Mental Health Mates was launched in 2016 by journalist Bryony Gordon, who wrote ‘Mad Girl’, and has held walks across the UK and the United States.
Emma is hoping to make trips to the Long Walk a monthly event.
“I have experienced mental health issues myself and know it is isolating, lonely and you feel anxious meeting people as they might be insensitive,” she said.
The mother-of-two said she found it hard ‘to meet people you connect with’ as a new mum and she began to feel quite isolated.
“I spent months pretending I was totally fine,” she said.
Eventually she confided in a group of friends and discovered others were experiencing similar problems.
Emma acknowledged it can still be scary to admit your mental health is suffering and hopes the Windsor walks will create a ‘network of like-minded people with no stigma’.
For people who may experience social anxiety, Emma says the walks will be less daunting than meeting in a cafe where there is more pressure to engage in constant conversation.
The first walk will start out at 11am on Sunday, December 15 from Wagamama, a partner of MHM, in the High Street, and is expected to last an hour.
“It seems like such a little thing but it could make a big impact even if just for one person,” said Emma.
Visit https://mentalhealthmates.co.uk/ for details.
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