Hartlepool mental health campaigner running in memory of four tragic friends lost to suicide

A woman who lost four friends to suicide has set herself a tough running challenge to remember them and help others.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 12:28 pm

Gemma Moutter has vowed to run more than seven miles for seven days straight in memory of her friends and to let people know it’s OK not to be OK.

She will raise money for mental health charity Mind to help fund resources and professional help needed to assist people battling personal problems.

Gemma, 38, who also suffered with mental health herself during lockdown, said: “I lost four people to suicide in the past two years.

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Gemma Moutter practising for her charity run in aid of Mind. Picture by FRANK REID

"I'm doing it in memory of them and to raise awareness that it’s OK not to be OK.

"I’ve struggled with my mental health through lockdown and I just wanted to do it for them and their families.

"It’s happening far too often. Seeing how it affected my friends’ families I thought that could have been my family.”

Gemma had to give up her job as a chef in Newcastle after suffering with anxiety.

Hartlepool and East Durham Mind in Tees Street, Hartlepool.

"I just went into massive depression, it was horrible,” she said. “But I have come out the better side.”

But she said taking up running after deciding to join the Army Reservists, in Hartlepool boosted her mental health and kept her focused.

She said: “I had only done a few runs in my life but I was running every day.”

The charity run will help Gemma achieve the required fitness levels needed to join the reservists unit based in Easington Road.

Starting on Saturday, July 10, she will run seven miles a day from Powlett Road, in Hartlepool, to Grants Houses village, near Horden.

Gemma added: “It’s a challenge I am proud to take on and I hope I do them all proud in doing so and help the people who need the help to be able to talk.”

Based in Tees Street, Mind has been working in Hartlepool for over 20 years and in East Durham for the last six.

They provide a host of services and projects to help people cope and recover from depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other emotional stresses.

Further information is available via (01429) 269303 and www.hartlepoolmind.co.uk.

To sponsor Gemma visit her GoFundMe page called 7 Mile run for 7 days.

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