17 employees from across Prospects will be pulling on their walking boots this week to take on three of the biggest mountains in the UK to raise money for Young Minds.
The novice hikers from the employee-owned company will climb Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England and Ben Nevis in Scotland in 48 hours between 24 - 26 June, as part of the ‘Three Peaks Challenge.’
Prospects are aiming to raise £5,000 for Young Minds, a UK charity that helps to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people across Britain. Misha, who works for Prospects Education, is one of the walkers.
After mentioning climbing Snowdon and Ben Nevis a few years ago Misha’s director, Andrew Thraves, suggested she should take the Three Peaks Challenge. The 27-year-old thought Andrew was “pulling her leg”, but after a quick Google search, discovered it was a real challenge that many people accomplish every year.
Misha thought she’d be pushing her luck if she attempted such a feat, but was keen to do something outside of her comfort zone. She was also keen to support Young Minds saying: “Charities around mental health are close to my heart, as I and a few people I’ve known have suffered from mental health issues.
“I think it’s very important not to place one issue as being more relevant than another. Challenges, regardless of what they are, can damage our wellbeing – be it exam stress, body image issues, depression, anxiety, family problems, bullying or abuse.
“I grew up in a time when mental health was barely mentioned, so it was a case of learning the hard way that ultimately led to a lot of soul searching. I think that’s why Young Minds stood out for me. It offers support to young people in helping them deal with difficult challenges, rather than letting those challenges spiral into larger problems.”
Misha added: “Unfortunately, there is still a misconception that depression is simply sadness over less desirable circumstances, which one can snap out of if they really wanted to.”
But depression is nothing like sadness.
Misha describes her experience as: “a black hole of anxiety, fear, despair, hopelessness and being tearful over things that normally don’t bother you. Your confidence is sucked out of you and you lose interest in the things you were once passionate about.”
Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. You can have a strong support system, a good income, and an active social life, and depression can come at you from out of the blue. The £5,000 the company hopes to raise could help fund free helpline support and advice for 125 families worried about the wellbeing and mental health of their child. The money will also help to create and distribute 250 information packs for schools about mental health.
To find out more about YoungMinds visit their website. To donate please visit the Prospects JustGiving page.