Rugby star Scott Hastings backs 100-day mental health campaign

RUGBY legend Scott Hastings has thrown his weight behind a new 100-day mental health campaign after supporting his wife through a lengthy battle with depression.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th July 2016, 10:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th July 2016, 11:21 am
Scott and Jenny Hastings back Support in Mind Scotland's 1 in 100 campaign. Picture: Julie Bull
Scott and Jenny Hastings back Support in Mind Scotland's 1 in 100 campaign. Picture: Julie Bull

Jenny Hastings, 52, has spoken out in the past about her mental health after trying to take her own life by eating a bag of peanuts to trigger a dangerous nut allergy.

Her husband intervened just in time to administer an adrenaline jab that saved her life.

The couple, who have been married for 25 years, are now supporting the 1 in 100 campaign by Support in Mind Scotland, which is encouraging people to use exercise to improve their mental health.

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Scott, 51, who earned 65 international caps for Scotland, said: “Each time Jenny has had difficult episodes, she has used exercise to get herself into a better state of mind.

“Sometimes it is just as simple as getting out and having a walk.

“When you have someone who suffers from their mental health, sometimes just getting out of bed is a big challenge.

“This is such a simple thing to do and can make such a difference.”

The campaign title represents the number of Scots who suffer from psychosis or schizophrenia, while as many as one in four Scots will suffer from mental ill health.

As part of the campaign, which will run until World Mental Health Day on October 10, walkers and runners of all abilities are being challenged to keep their minds and bodies healthy by walking or running 100 miles in 100 days, or running 100 streets in one day.

The Hastings, who live in Stockbridge, have vowed to pound the pavements of the Capital with their friends, aiming to cover 100 streets over a single day.

Jenny, a former triathlete and mother-of-two, said: “I wanted to do something to say thank you to the people who have helped me and to help anyone going through this.

“The kids talk about it very openly but our generation and people who are a bit older find it harder. People say there’s nothing wrong with you.

“It is a very difficult place but the support is important. It is about supporting people and making others aware of it, too.”

Frances Simpson, chief executive of the charity Support in Mind Scotland, said: “We are extremely grateful to Scott and Jenny for supporting our campaign as this will do so much to help us raise awareness of how important good physical health is to keeping mentally well.

“Mental ill health can affect anyone and impacts not just on the individual themselves but on their families and friends who often don’t know what to do for the best.

“We hope that Jenny’s experience inspires others to get involved and help us to reach out to anyone who is struggling to cope so that they can ask for the help they need.”

Anyone wishing to take part in 1 in 100 should call Support in Mind Scotland on 0131-662 4359.