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World Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week covers the theme of movement, and how we can all move more to positively aid our mental health. Whether it's through dance, yoga, running or something else entirely, exercise has many proven benefits for our mental health and wellbeing. Finding ways to incorporate movement into our daily routines can have profound effects on our mental health, so it’s an apt theme for this year’s awareness week. 

In fact, this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is particularly poignant for us all at K2 Management, as is the connection between mental health and exercise. In February 2024 one of our colleagues, Rob McGill, Director of Project Management, embarked on a hike and overnight camp in the Lake District which ended in a serious accident. With sheer luck, determination and a rescue by the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team, alongside support from friends and family, Rob is expected to make a full recovery. However, the event has given both he - and us all at K2 Management - an opportunity to reflect on mental health, wellbeing and resilience in unique ways. 

It’s why this year we’re supporting Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team and Mind as our chosen charities for Mental Health Awareness Week. A number of our colleagues - Mark Murphy, Ed Harris, Mirenchu Alija Zambonino, Ant Wheeler, Piers Thomson, Sadi Oagile, Billy Keegan, and Fraser Roach - are taking part in the Bristol Half Marathon and 10k event to raise both awareness of this year’s theme as well as funds for these two incredibly worthy causes.  

Upon learning of his colleague’s marathon pledge, Rob shared: “I was taken aback and left feeling humbled once again by the kindness of my colleagues. As for Wasdale MRT, I’m so happy to see them being chosen as they are a charity fully reliant on donations. The team is made up of around 40 men and women, all of which are volunteers who operate 24/7, 365 days a year no matter what the weather, and are genuine heroes, without whom I may not be here today.” 

In fact, we caught up with our Bristol Marathon runners as they prepared for the event and reflected on how training has helped boost their mental health. 

“The fitness benefits of running are extensively documented but the mental side of things is also a huge part of why people run. For me, if I’m feeling annoyed or angry about something, it can be the perfect way to not just expel some physical frustration but also come to terms with and rationalise the emotions that I might be feeling,” shares Ed Harris, Analyst, Analysis Services. “On top of that, it’s tremendously satisfying to be able to run long distances and go and see some amazing views!” 

Mirenchu Alija Zambonino, Analyst, Analysis Services, adds: “Engaging in this challenge has yielded significant positive effects on my mental well-being. I have experienced heightened happiness, increased fulfilment, and a profound sense of pride in my accomplishments. Regular exercise serves as a means to alleviate negative thoughts and allows me to approach each day with a clear and refreshed mindset.” 

Many of us at K2 Management recognise how much of a positive role exercise plays in improving our mental health. It’s why we’ve also taken this time to reflect on the theme of resilience, and how it impacts overall wellness. As Rob rightly notes, all of us face mental health challenges in our life, regardless of how strong we perceive ourselves to be, and we should all do what we can to be more open and transparent with others to share our worries. “I think it’s important to let people know that I consider myself a resilient person, I have endured quite some challenges in my life and also helped people through difficult times,” comments Rob. “However, resilience doesn’t make you bulletproof.” 

We’re proud that K2 Management offers an inclusive and supportive workplace where our colleagues feel supported by both the organisation and each other. However, our colleague Mirenchu also notes how “relying on your innermost circle” is also incredibly important. “Frequently, individuals confront their challenges alone, inadvertently draining their resources. It's imperative not to underestimate the potential assistance that friends and family can provide in such situations, although this should not be considered a substitute for professional help,” Mirenchu adds. 

Speaking about your mental health is incredibly important, and this Mental Health Awareness Week we encourage everyone to identify one or two people who you feel you may be able to confide in. It’s a strategy that Rob also firmly supports, sharing: “If anyone reading this feels like things aren’t quite right, if you are struggling with your day-to-day emotions then please reach out. Speak to someone you feel comfortable with and be honest with everything you are thinking.”  

And, it’s important to recognise that it doesn’t take specialist training to offer support to a family member or friend in need. “If you are reading this and are the person who may be approached by someone in need, then make sure you give that person the time they deserve, listen to them and listen some more,” adds Rob. “Don’t judge, just listen.” 

We’re proud to invest in our ongoing mental health support programmes at K2 Management and are pleased to take this moment to recognise and reflect on something that affects us all. We wish all of our colleagues running the Bristol Marathon the best of luck, and share our congratulations to them for their valuable fundraising efforts.  

Should you wish to donate to either Mind or the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team, please visit: