MEET THE SOUTH AFRICAN LADY CREATING AWARENESS FOR MENTAL ILLNESS THROUGH RUNNING

MEET THE SOUTH AFRICAN LADY CREATING AWARENESS FOR MENTAL ILLNESS THROUGH RUNNING

South African, Zanele Hlatshwayo is creating awareness for mental health through running

After losing her father to suicide, Hlatshwayo cried a lot. The mourning process got so close to affecting her mental health that she started looking for ways to deal with her emotions. Eventually, running turned out to be her coping mechanism.

Speaking with IOL, she said:

“When I started, I was running away from the situation. I didn’t want to deal with it anymore but the more I ran, the more I realized it is helping me deal with it.”

It’s been more than 10 years since she started road running and she’s still going strong. Now she’s taking it up a notch by running 18 races around South Africa in just seven months!

To show she means business, Hlatshwayo has already completed seven races since January. With 11 to go, she has partnered with the crowd-funding platform, BackaBuddy to raise R180,000 (more than N5 million) for the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

Explaining how running relates to mental health, she said:

“Running also signifies pain that people who are depressed go through because in many instances, when you run…there’s a lot that you go through, physically and emotionally. It’s a similar process for those who suffer from depression.”

Hlatshwayo will cap off this feat with a 180km race in the Eastern Cape by the end of July.

Source: konbini.com

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