mental health

mental health

Friends of Alex Stern, whose body was recovered from the river Thames in April, announce 50 mile run

Friends of Alex Stern, who disappeared on 11th January in Sonning and was sadly found on 3rd April by Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue (BLSAR), are running 50 miles to raise money for BLSAR and to raise awareness of mental ill-health and suicide in young men.

On October 10th a group of Alex’s close friends (Will Hicks, Will Drew, James Hulme, Patrick Timmis and Henry Maclellan) will pull on their running shoes and run from Sonning (where Alex was last seen) along the river on a 50 mile route back to one of his favourite Chelsea pubs. Alongside the run, James and a group of friends will cycle a 78 mile route, teaming up with the runners for the final stretch from Kew to Chelsea. Finally a 3rd group will be joining up at Kew to run the final 10km.

One of the runners and a close friend of Alex, Patrick Timmis, said “through the long and painful months after Alex’s disappearance, BLSAR worked tirelessly in their quest to find Alex, searching the river despite incredibly difficult conditions with almost continual flooding. This was a major operation over hundreds of man-hours with helicopters, drones, sonar, dogs and divers scouring the river in Sonning where Alex was last seen alive. Made up of an army of volunteers, we want to recognise their fantastic work and give something back to allow them to continue to help find other missing people.”

As well as the fundraiser, sidekick, a nonprofit community based mental health organisation founded by one of Alex’s cousins, is running a month long campaign ‘we all know an alex’ to encourage positive conversations to help prevent suicide. The event, which begun on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th will run for a month until the event on October 10th, which is also World Mental Health Awareness day.

James Shrager, co-creator of sidekick, said “sadly, 18 people a day take their own lives in the UK, and suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45. This needs to change. We want to help promote awareness of mental ill-health and encourage others who might be facing similar battles to speak up and get the help they need before it’s too late.”

Donations can be made at

From Depression to the Desert Race – How one girl healed then took the step to uncover mental health in others

Jodie is running 6 marathons in 6 days for young people’s mental health on April 5th, 2019 in the Marathon Des Sables.

On 24th December 2015, Jodie woke up not knowing how she was going to manage another day. Mentally and physically paralysed by depression, Jodie attempted to take her own life with an overdose. “I didn’t want to die but I didn’t know how to live,” says current PhD researcher Jodie. “I hit rock bottom”

North London mental health charity IHEART (Innate Health Education and Resilience Training) helped Jodie rediscover her mental health. “Thankfully I received the best support from IHEART and now I am raising money to help other young people benefit from the unique IHEART curriculum, which is being rolled out in schools.”
Three years on, Jodie is paying it forward, raising funds for IHEART, by running the toughest foot race in the world- a 250km run across the Sahara Desert – The Marathon des Sable.

IHEART Founder and Head of Education, Terry Rubenstein, is unbelievably supportive of Jodie’s courage and commitment “I have run one marathon. It was incredible but brutal. Jodie is running the equivalent of 6 marathons in 6 days. She is a warrior,” says Terry, author of Exquisite Mind and The Peach who Thought She Had to Be a Coconut. “She has her own powerful story of mental suffering and healing – Now she wants to help others ….”

In 14 months, IHEART has impacted 1500 young people, within 33 schools, trained nearly 200 educators across Europe, South Africa, and the USA. Adds Terry, “Jodie and her incredible efforts will allow IHEART to reach thousands more children in the coming year. But we need to reach many, many more. Please help us to help our kids.”

The worrying statistics speak for themselves

• 50 % of mental health problems are established by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
• 25% of 14-year-old girls across the UK are clinically depressed
• 1 in 15 adults in England is estimated to have made a suicide attempt in their life.

We need your help in sharing Jodie’s story to raise awareness for IHEARTs vital work instilling mental health within young people.

“Our children are suffering and in order to solve this problem, the IHEART curriculum shows young people how change can only ever come from the inside-out.” Jodie, 2018.