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North-east woman tackling 28-day Bennachie charity challenge


By Kyle Ritchie

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A north-east woman is climbing Bennachie every day for 28 days to support and raise awareness of a mental health charity.

Emma Strathdee (38), who is originally from Inverurie and lives in Pitmedden, has taken on the challenge for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Her first climb was on Monday, March 15 and will continue until Sunday, April 11.

Emma has struggled with mental health issues for a large part of her life and went through a difficult period earlier this year.

The challenge's aim is to raise awareness of the support that is out there for people and also getting active is part of her own recovery.

Emma Strathdee is climbing Bennachie every day for 28 days to raise money for mental health charity SAMH.
Emma Strathdee is climbing Bennachie every day for 28 days to raise money for mental health charity SAMH.

She said: "I've suffered from depression since I was in my early 20s and I had a bad time at the beginning of the year.

"I was really in the depths of despair and felt like there was no point going on.

"As I was getting better it hit me again, so this time the doctor said to me to try and get out and exercise.

"I thought to myself I need something to focus on and I decided to take on the challenge.

"I have never done anything like this before and getting active has certainly been beneficial."

Emma has been doing her climbs in the morning and has been joined by family and friends for support.

As part of the awareness raising she is highlighting on her Facebook page the help that is available for people with mental health issues.

"Each day I have been focusing on a different issue whether it be depression, mental health in young people or suicide," she added.

"I also outline the support that SAMH can provide and highlight it is there for people.

"The aim of the challenge is to raise money, help my own mental health, assist others and really to try and end the stigma that is still present.

"I knew the only way I was going to help myself was to share my story and to reach out to help give a voice to all the silent souls that are battling with their own mental health."

Her page also features updates on her climbs and people can donate to the cause.

Her target was to raise £1000 for the charity and she has already passed that.

Emma added: "I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful network of support from my family and friends and I’m utterly blown away by the messages of encouragement that I’m getting from everyone. Even complete strangers.

"During the 28 days, if I can help at least one other person I will be absolutely thrilled."

Anyone who would like to donate can do so at www.facebook.com/emma.strathdee1


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