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Racing to beat depression

Judith Robinson

Judith and some of the Bristol University runners

Press release issued: 8 April 2014

A University of Bristol student is running the London Marathon to support the website which helped her overcome debilitating depression.

Judith Robinson, who is studying for an MSc in Mathematics, credits the Students Against Depression site for giving her the confidence to carry on during some of her darkest moments.

On 13 April, Judith will run the marathon to raise funds and awareness for the site and the charity which runs it – the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.

Judith, 24, has struggled with depression for as long as she can remember, relying on support from her mum.  Sadly, when Judith was 19, her mum died of cancer.

She was not formally diagnosed with clinical depression until 18 months after the death of her mother, when she went to see her GP about an unrelated matter.  With her doctor’s help, Judith embarked on a plan to make her feel like herself again.

It has been a long and difficult road.  Moving to Bristol meant leaving behind her friends and settling into a strange city.

A refinement to her medication and cognitive behavioural therapy have both helped, but Judith singles out the Students Against Depression website as playing a key part in her ongoing recovery.

Sport has always been important to Judith and has been a big factor in combating her depression.  She took part in her first half-marathon on Mother’s Day 2010 – three months after her mum died.

Since then she has represented Great Britain in her age category at the triathlon amateur world championships, and recently qualified for the Half Ironman event in Mallorca this October.

Judith said: “If I’ve been for a run in the morning I’ll be able to focus much better at work.  At the weekend I can go for a long cycle ride, then I sleep better.  It’s great, I can just get out and escape.”

The website, which launched nine years ago, offers practical, clinically-proven strategies for overcoming depression.

It includes a bank of stories written by students who share their experience of managing day to day with depression and anxiety.

Twenty thousand unique visitors a month access the site’s resources, which cover subjects including depression warning signs, self-help strategies and surviving suicidal thoughts.

Further information

About The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust

The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust was founded after Charlie committed suicide in September 1997 at the age of 28.

He was struggling with depression and no longer had the strength to cope with life.  The aim of the trust is to increase awareness of the signs and the dangers of depression amongst all young people, and to encourage those who may be depressed to seek help.

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