Alison Campbell

HQ: The Medicine Ball Challenge 2021

Even in 2021, there is still a significant stigma attached to mental health problems, including stress, anxiety, PTSD and Depression. I am taking on the Medicine Ball challenge to help break these stigmas and get people talking about their mental health. It's ok to speak up and say i'm not ok.

The challenge involves cuffing a 3kg Medicine Ball to my wrist for 7 days. It may not sound that heavy but being tied to the medicine ball continuously for 7 days is a significant burden. The ball becomes a physical, visual and tangible representation of the invisible burden of mental health so many of us can experience.

The challenge raises money for the following 2 charities. Any support you can offer will be gratefully received and split evenly between the 3 causes.

ABF The Soldiers' Charity

Combat Stress

 

My Updates

#Handover

So I’ve handed the ball and chain over to my cousin Wendy Jane …I know she will do an amazing job raising awareness and having many worthwhile conversations this week...I’ve given her a few hints and tips to help her on her way…Best wishes for the week ahead little cuz! So what have the past 7 days taught me? Anyone who knows me knows I like to talk…this week I have had many conversations about my very obvious accessory... Medicine Ball Challenge!! Each and every conversation has meant so much to me… I have discussed a variety of topics…from the mental wellbeing of our children and young people to micro dosing with magic mushrooms! But the most important thing for me was that those conversations happened! I have shared with all those people how very thankful I am that I have never suffered with a mental illness… Yes I have had bad days where I have felt sad…lonely…excluded…rejected…heartbroken and just down right miserable…but I am so grateful that throughout my life I have had amazing family...friends…and a faith that has helped me build the resilience to deal with those days… I have felt the pain of grief…of loss…of tragedy…and I have watched as people close to me battled with mental illness…I have lost family and friends to suicide… I honestly wish that no one ever had to experience any of this…but unfortunately that is not the reality of life… Carrying the weight has no doubt increased the power and strength in my muscles…everyday it became easier but to begin with, the longer I walked about with the ball the heavier it became…the same is true of a heavy mental burden...it might be resentment towards a colleague…disappointment towards a loved one…regret over a decision…these all become heavier over time…until acknowledged… Each time I sat down to talk to someone I set the ball down and it seemed lighter when I picked it up again…how much lighter would our burdens become if we talked about them? Talking about your feelings and emotions is never a sign of weakness…it’s part of taking control and acknowledging when things are becoming overwhelming…sometimes it’s difficult to put into words the way you are feeling…you might feel awkward starting the conversation…but believe me the old cliché is true… #itsgoodtotalk This week was never about fundraising for me...but I want to thank all those who donated to either my fundraising page or any of the other worthwhile charities highlighted throughout the week… My priority was to help reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness…unfortunately it is still very much a taboo subject...a lot of people shy away from talking about it…if you have been reading my posts this week, I hope you realise that it’s nothing to be ashamed of…your mental health is just as important as your physical health… If my medicine ball journey helps just one person, it will have been worth all the strange looks…struggles with every day tasks and physical pain of the cuff! Thanks for being on this journey with me…your messages of support have meant a lot…

#Day7

This is my final day with the Medicine Ball Challenge attached... https://events.soldierscharity.org/s/14670/21792/e It's been an experience...it has taught me a lot...opened up many conversations...allowed me to promote mental wellbeing within the youth organisations to which I belong...and I will sum it all up in a post tomorrow... For now I just want to share what so many people have said this week.... "It's brilliant what you are doing...we need to normalise mental health and talk freely about it like this all the time"....my question is..."why do we not?" The last charity I want to highlight is by no means the least... Lifeline is an amazing Northern Ireland based charity that is there 24/7 for everyone... Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. ..No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help... Lifeline counsellors are experienced in working with trauma, suicide, self-harm, abuse, depression and anxiety. You will receive immediate help on the phone. Should you need further support we can provide a face-to-face counselling appointment in your local area within seven days... The Lifeline helpline is funded by the Department of Health...

#Day5

#Day6

#Day6

Building IKEA furniture is definitely not as easy with a ball and chain attached...and a walk is made a lot more difficult with the burden of a weight...

I had the opportunity today to have a couple of conversations...this time discussing children and young peoples mental health...the many difficult situations they face and how the pressures of society can make life confusing and overwhelming for them at times...

I'm not sure green is my colour but it is today!!!

I'm wearing my Samaritans t shirt with pride to raise awareness for yet another fabulous charity...

Whatever you’re facing, a Samaritan will face it with you...

Every day, Samaritans volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for help...

Samaritans are there...day or night...for anyone who’s struggling to cope...who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure...

Samaritans is not only for the moment of crisis...they’re taking action to prevent the crisis...

Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy... Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide...

Whatever you're going through...you can call any time...from any phone...for FREE...

Call 116 123

Please don't suffer alone in silence...

#Day5

I am so thankful for the Medicine Ball Challenge...it has opened up so many conversations for me about mental health this week...

You don’t need special training to have an open...authentic conversation about mental health...often, just talking about it can be the first important step in understanding where someone is with their mental health...helping them get support or treatment if needed...

Being available to have a conversation about mental health is an important way we can all be there for the people in our lives...whether it’s a friend...family member...or someone in your community...All it takes is a willingness to be open...honest and present with the people you care about...

Today I want to highlight an amazing charity that serves our young people...

YoungMinds are leading the movement to make sure every young person gets the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what...
It takes courage to ask for help. But for many young people who do, the support they need just isn’t there...
In the UK today, an estimated five children in every classroom has a mental health problem... A quarter of 17-year-old girls have self-harmed in the last year while suicide remains the single biggest killer of boys and young men. But things can get better...
Young Minds provide young people with tools to look after their mental health...empower adults to be the best support they can be to the young people in their lives... 

Together, we can create a world where no young person feels alone with their mental health...

If you are a young person reading this and you need to speak to someone about your mental health you can Text YM to 85258...

#Day4

The Medicine Ball Challenge continues... As the week goes on it certainly doesn't get any easier!! I want to say a big massive thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the amazing people who have sponsored me...it isn't about the amount of money I raise but it will all go to an extremely worthwhile cause and help numerous people in their journey... Today I want to highlight the work of PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide... PAPYRUS is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide... Suicide is the biggest killer of young people under 35 in the UK... Every year many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide...harm themselves or suffer alone... afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling... Again that old cliché...its good to talk!!

#Day3

I was on the move with the Medicine Ball Challenge today... I meet a friend for lunch and got some strange looks in the process... The ball continues to teach me how difficult it is to live with a mental illness...I couldn't wait to get into bed last night so I could take it off and I didn't want to get up this morning knowing that I would have to put it back on...the physical pain from the handcuff has also reminded me that those living with mental health conditions often suffer from poor physical health as well... Today I am focusing on Aware NI ... AWARE is the depression charity for Northern Ireland - and the only charity working exclusively for people with depression and bipolar disorder... AWARE delivers mental health and well-being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces... Everyone can have a bad day, or two, now and again, but when you are depressed, those feelings of sadness never seem to end... Depression makes everyday tasks feel overwhelming and the motivation to do anything at all, very challenging... Please don't keep these feelings to yourself...there is always someone their to talk to...

#Day2

Already the ball is teaching me how debilitating a mental illness can be...something as simple as ironing was such a mammoth task...walking the dogs this morning was much more difficult than normal...for someone suffering this is the reality...everyday tasks become overwhelming work loads 😢 Today I am highlighting the amazing work of Combat Stress... THE UK'S LEADING CHARITY FOR VETERANS' MENTAL HEALTH For over a century Combat Stress have been helping former servicemen and women deal with issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. Today they provide specialist treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict, focusing on those with complex mental health issues related to their military service... Combat Stress provides a range of community, outpatient and residential mental health services to veterans with complex mental health problems. We provide services in-person, and via phone and online. If you feel you would like to donate to the charities supported by the challenge please click on the link below... https://events.soldierscharity.org/s/14670/21792/w #medicineballchallenge

And so it begins...

...no better day to start than #worldmentalhealthday2021 https://events.soldierscharity.org/s/14670/21792/w #medicineballchallenge Medicine Ball Challenge For the next 7 days I will have this ball chained to my arm... The challenge aims to create awareness... encourage people to talk about their mental health and to break down the stigmas associated with mental health problems...It's ok to speak up and say 'I'm not ok'... Each of us will have had some exposure to mental health issues...either observing from a distance or being up close and personal...whatever your experience please know that it's OK to talk about it... Each day this week I will be promoting a charity that helps to tackle a range of metal illness... Today I'm wearing a Action Mental Health t shirt... Action Mental Health changes the lives of those living with mental ill health and promotes resilience and well-being to future generations...Action Mental Health (AMH) actively promotes the mental health and well-being of people in Northern Ireland. To read more about what they do please click on the link below... https://www.amh.org.uk/

Thank you to my Sponsors

£52

The Davison’s

Amazing challenge for an amazing cause and no better woman for the job! Well done Aly 😘

£52

Uncle George

Well done Alison, great cause! Lots of love!

£50

Norah Nesbitt

Great effort for such a very good cause. Very proud of you. X

£26

Sandra Black

Well done for raising awareness on such an important issue. Super proud of you x

£25

Joan Stewart

You can do it. All the best. Love from Auntie Joan x

£20.80

Jonny Forsythe

Well done Alison

£20

The Whitfords

Well done. Love from: Lynne, Jason, Zoe and Ellie

£20

Vicki Nesbitt

How many comments about Jonny having carried a bigger ball and chain for nearly 13years are you expecting???? Amazing effort though Ali for a super important cause xx very proud of you xx

£15.60

Beulah Keane

Humbled by your challenge and what it speaks to- keep going Alison Beulah x

£15.60

Joanne Lester

Good on you Aly! 💪🏻💞

£15.60

Linda Allen

Well done!

£15

Diane Green

Well done Alison x

£15

Julianne Mcmullan

👏❤️

£15

Dp

Well done Alison!! Xx

£10.40

Cheryl Black

Best of luck with your challenge x

£10.40

Ellie Mcconnell

So amazing what your doing. I am one of those that suffer with depression and anxiety, there really isn't much talking about it so it's great your appealing to people, that it's OK.

£10

Clinton Riley

All the very best with the challenge

£10

Claudia Newell

Good luck Alison!