James Martin: The Man Who Runs 12km Each Day To Represent The Number Of Men Who Take Their Own Lives Each Week

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James Martin: The Man Who Runs 12km Each Day To Represent The Number Of Men Who Take Their Own Lives Each Week

 

James Martin runs 84 km each week— 12 km every day— to represent the 84 British men who die from suicide every seven days, reports Natalie Morris of the UK’s highest-circulating newspaper Metro. Martin wants to “get people talking” and raise funds with Mo Running. Last year, he ran 6km a day to prompt people to talk about men’s health, especially mental health. 

He narrates, “On these runs, I got talking to people and was amazed about how much more people (especially men) were able to open up when we were shoulder to shoulder rather than face to face.” Martin spoke to more than 75 people the past year and wanted to raise awareness to help them with mental health issues by “reaching in” and asking the right questions. 

 

 

Photo Credit: James Martin (via Metro)

 

Martin recounts that he “almost became a statistic when he was at his lowest in 2010,” as he considered ending his own life. He was tormented with feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and inadequacy. He did not open up to anyone, including his wife and family, because it would show he was not a man. 

“I had worked out my suicide plan and it was only through good fortune and the intervention of my wife, family and a brilliant GP, that I am still here today,” Martin adds. Suicide is the biggest cause of death among men below the age of 45. According to Martin, the figure needs to change “and get parity between physical and mental health.” 

 

 

Photo Credit: James Martin (via Metro)

 

Running may be a challenge for Martin considering he is not a social runner. He recounts, “During the challenge, I am going to be running with people and talking with them. It is a challenge for me.” Now, he can talk to people about “a subject that is important,” which gives him solace. Martin explains, “I want to stop anyone feeling as I did for much of my life; unable to talk because they do not believe anyone is interested or wants to help.”

He advises people to get the men in their lives talking. He plans to talk to 150 individuals to inspire “many other conversations.” 

 

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