At the starting line, with their bodies leaning slightly forward, runners engaged their muscle coordination in preparation to commence the run. Off they go as the air horn sounds. Amongst the many runners at the Kathmandu Marathon 2017 were 22 representatives from Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health. With sheer determination, 19 of our runners completed the 5km category and 3 of us finished the 21km category.
Though not professional runners, all Chhahari staff and supporters ran with one purpose—to raise public awareness about the importance of mental health and wellbeing. The reason behind our motivation is to share our understanding that apart from physical attributes, mental health and strength plays an undeniably important role not just in running but rather in one’s daily living. It all occurs in the mind: the self-affirmations of runners which tell them that they can do it, that they can keep going. This mental strength contributes significantly to generate perseverance for the long run as runners stretch out their physical strengths. The importance of mental health needs more recognition in our society.
Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health is an NGO dedicated to promote the mental health and wellbeing of people in the community, and they participate annually in the Kathmandu Marathon to convey the message as well as to raise funds. CNMH was registered in 2009 and have since been providing service within Lalitpur district. Some of the services provided include advocating for clients, referral to therapeutic services and running of support group.
Chhahari Nepal is one of the supporting partners of upcoming International Mental Health Conference.