One of Edinburgh’s most successfull busines professionals, Stuart Potter, is to tackle a 400-mile journey to London by bike on behalf of mental health charity Mind.
As a former sufferer of depression, Potter is looking to raise a minimum £4,000 to go toward helping the one in four people in the UK that suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives.
During his journey, he will make four stops to deliver presentations to members of business organisation 4Networking. At each Stuart plans to talk openly and honestly about his experiences of depression in a bid to address stigma and raise awareness of the problem, particularly in business circles. This comes less than a year after Stuart finally took the first step of visiting a doctor to deal with the depression which had blighted most of his adult life.
Stuart’s venture has already garnered huge support from 4Networking, his employers Veecom Systems and a wealth of friends, clients and associates. A successful social media campaign has helped dramatically boost awareness, with the @biggestjourney twitter account welcoming more than 500 followers, including 100 within 24 hours of going live.
Stuart said: “I have been passionate about cycling all my life. Evidence continually proves that time outdoors and physical exercise can help reduce depression, and as my coping mechanism, seemed a fitting way to support Mind. I felt strongly that I wanted to embark on this journey to raise awareness, as well as money. Then I realised I couldn’t try to combat stigma, if I was still treating my own depression as taboo by keeping it secret. It was important to me to say out loud and publicly ‘I am one of those one in four’, and believe me, it is scary and very emotional."
Updates on Stuart’s journey can be found at his website: www.biggestjourney.com