A 21 year old Poyntzpass man has set himself the mission of running 10K every day throughout November to raise awareness for the issues surrounding mental health in Ireland. 

Robert Morrow embarked on 'Robbs Run' at the start of November and he is raising funds for Pure Mental NI, a student-led charity aiming to improve awareness of the issues and facilities in schools to deal with the issues surrounding mental health.

Robert Morrow.
Robert Morrow.

Robert explains "In the past I’ve suffered very badly with poor mental health and, of course, I’m a stubborn man, always have been, and I initially never talked about it, I bottled it all away. But that just made it worse and worse, and it can be hard to talk; it can feel defeating, can feel like you’re weak or giving in. But you can be the hardest man in the world, and this thing still gets you where it hurts. But as soon as I told someone I was struggling it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

"My family have been the best support I could ever hope for and my girlfriend Alice Loughlin is my rock. She’s helping me coordinate this running and she’s running the social media account."

The Poyntzpass local has always been fond of sporting pursuits as he explains "Sport in general has always been an outlet for me. It challenges me, and it occupies my mind, taking the focus away from anxiety; which helps me to realise how small and insignificant it really is.

"Over lockdown I took a bit of a break from Rowing and training, and it was well needed. But my anxiety had come back and since I wasn’t using the outlet of sport, it got worse quickly. Running has always been a form of training for rowing for me, keeping myself fit. But now it’s something more, I guess it’s an act of defiance to my head, sort of a “I can still go this no matter what you tell me”

Explaining that his faith is also a big part of his life Robert said "My father’s side is Presbyterian and my mother’s side is Catholic. I go to both Churches here in Poyntzpass and without my faith I don’t know where I’d be. I know not everyone has faith, but that’s just one of the things that helps me realise that the anxiety I’m facing is insignificant and can be beaten."

Robert  is trying to spread his fundraiser/ campaign as far and wide as he can because as he notes "there’ll be someone sitting there in the darkest of places, feeling like there’s no escape, like there’s a clamp on their head squeezing tighter and tight; maybe you’re walking round your room punching the wardrobe or the wall, or maybe you’re just sitting there alone, wanting to scream at the top of your lungs. Believe me, I know where you are.

"Maybe you’re reading this. If I can help even just one person see that it can be overcome, that it really isn’t as scary as it seems to be, then this is worth it.

Running with a Canadian flag, his fathers home Country.
Running with a Canadian flag, his father's birthplace.

"I’ve come through the worst of it, and I’m still here. There’s always hope, even when it seems like it’s the end of the line. Because I’ve been at the end of the line a few times, and it isn’t something I talk about lightly, it’s terrifying."

Concluding Robert said "I’m not saying people have to completely open up and pour their life stories out to everyone, but talk to someone you love and trust; I’m not asking people to become psychiatrists, just check in with your friends, even a simple “well bud, how’s the form?” could lift someone up out of the mire they might be sinking into."

Thanks for taking the time to read this if you have, it’s really appreciated. If you can, I’d also really appreciate it if you can give a donation to Pure Mental NI, even a little goes a long way."

You might well bump into Robert  running round his home village of Poyntzpass. If you would like to donate to Pure Mental NI please go to the PURE-MENTAL-NI GoFundMe page.





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