A Lancashire woman joined The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at a training day for runners taking part in London Marathon for Heads Together, the official charity of the year.
Sue Sweeney, from Bretherton, also met with and gained advice from with three time London Marathon winner, Paula Radcliffe and British 400m record holder and London Marathon regular, Iwan Thomas.
The 56-year-old is running the London Marathon for Lancashire Mind as part of Heads Together, to help make sure conversations about mental health happen with as many people as possible after a close family member committed suicide.
Sue said: “Mental health can be a taboo subject. People don’t know how to approach the subject.
“The fact this year’s London Marathon is about mental health shows a great step forward, but there is still more to be done.
“We as a family have tried to do something positive. I am a runner, a run leader and guide runner for the visually impaired with English Athletics. I promote running at grass roots level.
“I run a guide run for a visually impaired lady who has depression.
“She has helped me and I have helped her and it has given her something to focus on.
“I am determined to raise the awareness of mental health issues.
“Nobody chooses to be in such a dark place.
“It always surprises me that when I start to talk about this subject how people open up to me about relatives and friends and even themselves.
“I want to do everything I can so that more young people don’t suffer.”
Heads Together is encouraging everyone running in this year’s race, whichever great cause they are supporting, to make it a ‘mental health marathon.’
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, said: “We want to normalise mental health, we want to get people talking about it, to make it more normal and to reduce the stigma. We want to make it a mental health marathon.
“These runners are crucial to making this happen and we can’t do it without them. We really hope their training goes very well.”
To support Sue visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=SusanSweeney